My blog posts revolve around my interests and vocation as a historian: the intersection of history and contemporary church life, the intersection of history and contemporary politics, serendipitous discoveries in archives or on research trips, publications and research projects, upcoming conferences, and speaking engagements.
I sometimes blog for two other organizations, the Canadian Baptist Historical Society and the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.
The views expressed in these blogs represent the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of any organizations with which they are associated.
Globe and Mail, 11 September 1939
I have no memory of my grandfather on my mother’s side (he died when I was 2 years old). He had a German-American background, moved to Niagara Falls, married Ethel (my grandmother), worked in Hamilton (Ontario), had three daughters (one being my mother, June), and by all accounts was a kind Christian gentleman. He also travelled around southern Ontario churches singing in a male quartet. Apparently, they were quite popular, or so the story goes.
I am proud to be named after him. But what I did not know until recently was that he not only sang but also composed music. A while ago I was excited to find in some old family pictures a copy of a wartime hymn he wrote sometime during the Second World War.
I recently stumbled across an Irish saint that caused me to pause in amazement.
I am thrilled when I get 30 people in a course. Yet recently I read of medieval Irish monk who attracted 3,000 students to his monastery – he was a veritable “rock star” professor. And that should certainly put things in perspective, as well as keep me humble.