Remembering Bert de Vries

Bert de Vries at Umm el-Jimal, Jordan. Image source: Darrell J. Rohl Our department mourns the sudden passing on March 28, 2021 of Professor Emeritus Bert de Vries, our deeply beloved and longest-serving colleague. A Calvin alumnus (’60), Bert returned to Calvin in 1967, after graduate study at Calvin Seminary and Brandeis University, and taught …

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Vigilante Justice: From the Old West to Washington DC (Video Recording)

Video panel discussion: Videos of rioters storming the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 to prevent Congress from certifying Joseph Biden as the 46th president stunned people across the United States and around the world. But vigilante violence in the name of justice or law and order has a long history in the United States. This panel discussion will explore how the mythology and culture of the American West, from the deep past to recent history, play into the “current weirdness” in American politics.

I Rise to Speak in Favor of the Discipline I Taught

by Bob Schoone-Jongen In the wake of President Trump’s embrace of “patriotic history” at the National Archives on Thursday, I rise to speak in favor of the discipline I taught, studied, researched, and wrote about for decades. I also rise to oppose categorically the debauched definition of history he espoused in that hallowed national space …

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Our Fathers’ Freedom: The American Revolution and the COVID Crisis

by Will C. De Man In the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are filled with a general feeling of anxiety and worry. For some, it’s anxiety over how they’ll keep up their rent or pay their bills. Others worry for their sick or elderly loved ones, who are particularly at risk. Still others have …

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The Pope and the Plague

by Frans van Liere. In 1348, a terrible epidemic arrived in Avignon. It had spread from Italy, but its origins were somewhere in Central Asia, on what is now the border between Xinjiang and Kyrgyzstan. For the next seven months, the Black Death ravaged this small city on the Rhone river in southern France, and …

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“Digging In” to a Company’s History

by Bob Schoone-Jongen During the spring of 2017, I received a request to help compile the history of the Braen Stone Company, headquartered in Haledon, New Jersey. The company has been in business since 1904, owned by the same family for five generations. The owners hoped to mark their 115th anniversary with a coffee table …

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