Things Noted Here and There
Michael Kazin,"The Gospel of Love," NYT, 16 July, reviews Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher.
Douglas Jones,"Who's Afraid of Flannery O'Connor," Credenda, XVIII, 2, argues that O'Connor's dark Christian vision was more appealing to her secular critics than her fellow believers. Whatever. She's still the 20th century South's finest writer.* Thanks to Kathie Shaidle at Relapsed Catholic and Nick Milne at A Gentle Fuss for the tip.
*Yes, I know you may think otherwise.
Marcella Bombardieri and Gareth Cook,"MIT Star Accused by 11 Colleagues," Boston Globe, 15 July, explores accusations by 11 female MIT faculty members that a powerful male colleague blocked the institution's efforts to hire a promising female scientist.
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William L Ramsey - 7/16/2006
This will be my last post here. We assign Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. as historical actors in order to understand the history they were a part of, not as scholarly forums publishing reliable articles about that history. When such a forum and the individuals associated with it have demonstrably distorted information in order to serve a partisan (in this case Neo-Confederate) agenda, I think readers may reasonably ask why they are now to be trusted with another topic. I am not splitting liberal/conservative hairs here. Slavery was bad. Southern slaves did not overwhelmingly support slavery or the Confederate cause. I have spent time exposing the reasons why this group of activists is incorrect on these issues and have published those reasons and been attacked by them publicly as a result. Were I to recommend an article in their flagship publication, I would warn my readers that I regard this as a problematic source.
Ralph E. Luker - 7/16/2006
I'm not sure that I understand how this periodical is "politicized" in a way that Luther or King are not politicized. It undoubtedly has a point of view. Almost anything worth reading does. Some of its viewpoints may just be wrong. What else is new?Must I then forewarn my students that Luther isn't reliable when he speaks about Jews or about peasants every time I assign "The Freedom of a Christian Man" to my students? Or must I dredge up King's personal scandals every time I assign "Letter from the Birmingham Jail"? If I do the latter, I'm surely living out the expectations of someone else's agenda.
William L Ramsey - 7/16/2006
Maybe so, but if I were recommending an article in a politicized venue such as the Institute for Historical Review or Wilson's Credenda/Agenda, which has published black Confederate issues in the past, I think I would try to make that clear to unsuspecting readers who might browse over to other articles.
Ralph E. Luker - 7/15/2006
Thanks for the heads up, but I disagree with your reasoning. My favorite theologian is Martin Luther, but that doesn't mean that I endorse everything he said about Jews or what should be done to the peasants in the Peasants Rebellion. I'd recommend that my students read King's "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," but that doesn't mean that I'd similarly endorse his way of using other people's words without attribution or his extra-marital affairs. Jones has a thoughtful essay about Flannery O'Connor and I agree with him that she's an extraordinarily great writer. That doesn't mean that I recommend his position on all other issues.
William L Ramsey - 7/15/2006
Doug Jones is "Biblical defense of slavery" Douglas Wilson's hatchet man within his Moscow Idaho cult cell. Are you paying attention to your computer screen, Mr. Luker? I could send you some back copies of Doug Jones' denunciations of Martin Luther King if you like. . .
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