In the 1890s, Louis Klopsch’s popular newspaper, the Christian Herald, insisted that philanthropy was not only for the elite, but was a duty for everyday citizens. This post for the Smithsonian’s What It Means to Be American series describes his long-lasting influence on the practice of charity in the United States.
In this short piece for the Conversation, published in observance of the United Nations’ International Day of Charity, I explain how a popular 19th century Christian newspaper used media technologies to publicize humanitarian crises and encourage Americans to donate millions toward international aid efforts.
Rather than continuing to conjecture about Trump’s most faithful constituency, what if observers of contemporary American Christianity asked a different question? In this essay, for the Immanent Frame, I reflect on the importance of the global frame of Melani McAlister’s The Kingdom of God Has no Borders.
On September 2, 2015, the body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up ashore near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Within several days, a photograph of the lifeless toddler lying facedown on the beach made front-page headlines around the globe, sparking a wave of concern to address humanitarian crisis in Syria. In this post for HistPhil, I trace the power of such images to the 19th-century evangelical newspaper, the Christian Herald.
Published in Journal of American Studies. This article examines the crucial role that print media played in the global expansion of American evangelicalism during the late 1890s: a moment when the United States was exercising new forms of military, economic, and cultural power to extend its influence in world affairs.
Published in Secularization and Religious Innovation in the North Atlantic World. This essay explores how American evangelicals have employed popular media to maintain and even augment their vitality in the United States during a supposedly secular age.
Published in Humanitarian Photography: A History. This essay argues that American evangelicals exploited innovations is print journalism and photography to depict the suffering of distant strangers in ways that reveal the ambivalent and contested nature of late-19th-century humanitarianism.
This post is my contribution to the States of the Union Project (where writers from around the country tell about where they discovered religion and politics in their states) for Religion & Politics, the online news journal of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Published in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. This article asks how the Great Depression of the 1930s shaped pentecostal efforts to proclaim the “full Gospel” in “foreign lands,” showing how some missionaries argued that alleviating poverty, suffering and even some forms of systemic oppression was an integral part of their “spirit-filled” witness.
Published in Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 21:2. By examining how evangelicals employed psychological concepts to make sense of ecstatic religious experiences, this article expands our understanding of the interplay among scientific discourse, the varieties of evangelical spirituality, and the emergence of pentecostalism in the early twentieth century.