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Sunday Syllabus – 10/22/2017

Sunday Syllabus is a round-up of interesting articles and links that I came across over the last week. I sometimes provide a little commentary or raise questions. The content is not necessarily brand new, just new to me. If you have a recommendation, use the contact form. No promises.

This week’s theme is “From There and To There, Through Here.” Let the reader understand.


Marilynne Robinson asks and answers, in her own imitable essayistic style, the perennial question, “What Are We Doing Here?” Here means the liberal arts, but it also means liberal society, the two being inseparably bound and historically linked. Another smashing essay from the twenty-first century’s most readable Calvinist.

After Robinson’s “What are we doing?” comes a “How did we get here?” piece from The Gospel Coalition. Scholarship on American Fundamentalism has been nearly dominated by George Marsden’s book Fundamentalism and American Culture. But a number of of historians have been quietly rewriting Marsden’s plot points, resulting in a new story less focused around a few brief conflicts, more conscious of regional variation, and more sanguine about the continuity of evangelical beliefs.

It seems only fair to complete the temporal triptych with a piece on “Where might we be going?” This review of the theological work of John Milbank picks at Milbank’s sometimes incautiously stated diagnoses of the modern condition. But the reviewer shares with his subject uneasiness about how far a formal liberalism can takes us, and an enthusiasm to explore what might come next.

Published insunday syllabus