All Posts By

James Bratt

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Passing It On

Last week Thomas Goodhart bid adieu to his regular slot on this blog. Today is my turn. The most immediate reason is the approaching departure of me and my wife for a ten-month teaching gig in China. “The Twelve” seems…
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Not Guilty, Just Responsible

I was asked to speak this week at a teach-in addressing the latest spate of racially charged killings involving police—killings by police and killings of police. Those events involve ultimate stakes, human life. And the emotions that go into the…
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Shine, Perishing Republic

Since I’ve drawn holiday-weekend duty, I need to gin up something about the holiday. And if something worked well along that line once, it might well again. This post from Memorial Day 2012, alas, bears repeating in this season of…
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The Image of God, II

Last time I raised a question that came up in the seminar I’m attending on how our images of Jesus—particularly of his body—affect the church as the body of Christ. In creating antidotes to the “white Jesus” fashioned in North…
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The Image of God

I’m serving as the campus host of a seminar on the “Bodies of Christ.” For the next two weeks a group of us historians, artists, and theologians will consider the interlinked questions of (1) how we visualize and portray Jesus,…
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Summer History Reading

Only six more days till the Memorial Day weekend, kids, so it’s time to get serious about those summer plans. Top of the list for a heady group like you is reading, and top of the list of subjects to…
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Dare to be a Daniel

It’s hard to think of a more perfect antithesis than the one served up in this week’s news. On Tuesday night Donald Trump became the presumed Republican Party candidate for president, one rung shy of the greatest power that the…
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Religious Uncertainty, Revisited

Predicting the future: we know we can’t do it, but we do it anyway. We have to. “Invest at this rate and your 401 will be alright for your retirement x years from now.” “If Trump is elected president, America…
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The Stones Cry Out

Where did America begin? (Accept, dear Canadians and other friends, the substitutionary shorthand of ‘America’ for the USA. Saves words and energy. Thanks.) The most familiar candidate is Plymouth Rock, with the Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, town-hall meetings, and all the rest.…
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Low in the Gravy Lay

In comedy, they say, timing is everything. If so, this post will bomb. It takes up the theme of Easter jokes, a practice in the ancient church, but one to be exercised on Easter itself or Easter Monday. This post…