RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Book Review"

A Brave New Book: Kelly J. Baker’s Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

A Brave New Book: Kelly J. Baker’s Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

By Kenny Smith….
Dr. Kelly J. Baker is a lecturer in Religious Studies and Americanist Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Seemingly indefatigable, she has written for numerous academic and popular publications, has two additional books and several scholarly articles currently in the works, serves an editor for the award-winning American Religious History blog, oversees panels and groups within the American Academy of Religion and American Studies Association, all the while teaching a full-load of university-level courses each semester, raising a young daughter, and encouraging aspiring graduate students at other institutions. A glance at her resume suggests a broad range of teaching and research interests: world religions in America, apocalyptic and Rapture-oriented movements, the figure of the zombie in contemporary culture, religious in/tolerance in the South Park series, and of course, the early 20th century rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and its relationship to “mainstream” American religion and culture, precisely the focus of her new book, Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

Creatures of the Night: In Search of Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons by Dr. Gregory L. Reece

Creatures of the Night: In Search of Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons by Dr. Gregory L. Reece

Kate Daley-Bailey
Before sparkly vampires like Edward Cullen, before Count Orlok of Nosferatu, even before Bram Stoker’s classic tale of Dracula, there were the vampire tales of European folklore. As Reece suggests, these early prototypes of the vampire are far-less glamorous that the stylized, Gothic vampires of Polidori, Le Fanu, and Stoker. They attack cattle as well as humans, resemble bloated ticks when exhumed, and they more physically favor our conception of a zombie than the modern day vampire. Not only does Reece present a thorough but enjoyable romp through the history of the vampire, he also explores research about various real-life vampire communities, such as work done by Joseph Laycock in Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampires. Perhaps the most fascinating chapter in Reece’s book, according to this reviewer, is his chapter on werewolves, a chapter which plays upon the concepts presented in folktales made familiar by The Brothers Grimm, Perrault, and Paul DeLarue.

Review of Anthony Le Donne, Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?

Review of Anthony Le Donne, Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?

By James F. McGrath, Exploring Our Matrix….
Perhaps the most important contribution of this “new perspective on history” is its emphasis that the earlier quests for uninterpreted facts was misguided. When we consider something or someone significant, we interpret it. And unless we find something significant, we do not remember it. Therefore, all memory is interpreted. This should not surprise anyone, and yet the modern quest for certainty has trained many of us to desire more, even if such desires can never be satisfied.