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John Portmann

Author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People; Sex and Heaven; and Bad for Us. Editor of In Defense of Sin. Teaches in Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia.


How Christianity Spread

The World History of Christianity. Edited by Adrian Hastings. Eerdmans. $45.00. Writing a comprehensive yet digestible history of Christianity involves at least three obstacles. First, there is the sheer volume of information to be sifted throug [...]

An Appreciation of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon. By Perez Zagorin. Princeton. $29. 95. In the sumptuously appointed Master's Lodge of Trinity College, Cambridge University hang adjacent to one another portraits of Francis Bacon and Elizabeth I. This proximity would have caused [...]

On Being and Finding A Friend

Quakers & Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness. By Hans A. Schmitt. Missouri. $29.95 The familiar stereotype of Friends (or Quakers, as they are better known) as solid yet non-threatening moral citizens extends far into the past. In Boswell's L [...]