Academic Podcasts & Blogging
CWC: The Radio Show (continuing, with Sam Mulberry, Amy Poppinga, and Sara Shady)
Historia!: The Bethel History Department Podcast (continuing, with Sam Mulberry and other History Dept. faculty)
Radio Modern Europe (from Fall 2008)
The Policast (special 2008 election season series, with Stacey Hunter Hecht and Sam Mulberry)
Click on the links to download or subscribe, or visit Bethel's iTunes U page. You do need the iTunes application, which you can download for free from Apple.
I also blog regularly at The Pietist Schoolman, covering Christianity, history, education, and the intersections among those topics.
Trained in the history of international relations, I am primarily interested in how individuals, groups, organizations, governments, and cultures interact across national borders. I am especially concerned with such interactions at levels other than "high politics" and military conflict. My dissertation, for example, examined the British, French, and American educators who went to occupied Germany in 1945-1949 and tried (without much success) to "modernize" German educational values, policies, and institutions.
Here I am also guided by my growing conviction that peace is not merely the absence of conflict; it requires the presence of justice, mercy, compassion, and righteousness. This has led me to a growing interest in human rights in international history.
Finally, my interest in education has, of late, expanded to the history and theory of Christian higher education. I am currently undertaking a research project on the Swedish-American Pietist understanding of higher education as seen in the histories of Bethel University and North Park University. In conjunction with this new interest in Pietism, I recently worked with two colleagues to coordinate the Lilly Fellows Program regional research conference, "The Pietist Impulse in Christianity" (March 2009).
The Pietist Impulse in Christianity, edited with G.W. Carlson, Christian T. Collins Winn, and Eric Holst (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011)
"Recovering a Pietist Understanding of Christian Higher Education: Carl H. Lundquist and Karl A. Olsson," Christian Scholar's Review 40 (Winter 2011): 139-54.
“Dean Acheson, the JCS and the ‘Single Package’: American Policy on German Rearmament, 1950,” Diplomacy & Statecraft 12 (March 2001): 135-60.
“America, Europe, and German Rearmament, August-September 1950: A Critique of a Myth,” written with Marc Trachtenberg, in Between Empire and Alliance: America and Europe during the Cold War, ed. Trachtenberg (Rowan & Littlefield, 2003), 1-31.
Review of John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (Penguin, 2005), in Fides et Historia 39 (Summer/Fall 2007): 155-57.
Review of Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights: A History (Norton, 2007), in Fides et Historia 40 (Summer/Fall 2008): 109-11.
Review of William Inboden, Religion and American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960: The Soul of Containment (Cambridge, 2008), in Fides et Historia 44 (Winter/Spring 2012): 133-34.
Books that have influenced me as an historian
• The Bible
Long before I was old enough to understand fully
my faith or my field, the Bible taught me to love stories of the past. I’m afraid that some outstanding
sermons by some outstanding Covenant pastors went
unheard as I sat in the pew paging through the stories
of the Old Testament and the Gospels.
• E.H. Carr, “What
• Brad S. Gregory, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe
Though he is not the first to make this point, Carr’s famous
essay contends that history is a project of “imaginative
understanding.” I continue to approach every
class with the goal in mind that students will be
able to imagine themselves in the shoes of people
from different times, places, and cultures. One outstanding example of historical empathy is Brad Gregory's acclaimed study of Protestant, Anabaptist, and Catholic martyrs in the Reformations. Without advocating for any one group, he brilliantly captures the beliefs, values, and passions that led so many Europeans to die (or to kill) over questions of faith.
John Dower, War
without Mercy: Race & Power in the Pacific War
• John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History
• Michael Hunt, Ideology
and U.S. Foreign Policy
• Emily Rosenberg, Spreading
the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural
Just as international historians are expanding their
scope, so too are historians of U.S. foreign policy
– particularly those who study its cultural
sources and effects and those who insist that its
evolution cannot be studied in the isolation of
one nation’s history.
• Peter Hopkirk, The
Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia
• Alistair Horne, The
Price of Glory: Verdun 1916
• Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
Alan Furst, Night
Patrick O'Brian, The
Aubrey-Maturin series (Master and Commander,
While I admire many historians for their writing,
too often we think of ourselves primarily as scholars,
rather than storytellers. In this respect,
we have much to learn about our craft from journalists
and historical novelists.