Bodies of Belief and Christian Nationists Revisited

Paul Harvey

Over at Juvenile Instructor, Jonathan Stapley has some interesting thoughts and important critiques on ritual healing among early American Baptists as covered in Janet Lindman's Bodies of Belief: Baptist Community in Early America, a book John Fea previously reviewed for us on this blog. As a researcher in early Mormon healing rituals, Stapley pays most attention to the coverage of healing rituals in Lindman's work, and finds some issues with some of the details provided there.

Meanwhile, and leaving the world of scholarship for the world of propaganda, for those following the Texas schoolbook controversy which we briefly covered last summer (in which various propagandists are trying to do to history what the creationists would like to do to science education), the Austin Statesman has a piece filling you in on the latest. Our contributor John Fea (who is quoted in the Austin Statesman, and is writing a primer on this subject which promises to be required reading) comments on the piece here, and Jon Rowe comments cogently here. John apologizes for saying (inadvertently and without remembering it later) that Peter Marshall et al are "out to lunch," but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it ain't an ad hominem argument to suggest that it is a duck. The record of Marshall's public statements in particular (most recently about Katrina) suggests that ridicule is a perfectly legitimate response when a public figure makes ridiculous statements, but nonetheless exercises undue influence on important matters of history education.