Compassionate Disfiguration? The Story of 16th C. Executioner Frantz Schmidt.

Frantz Schmidt was, for 45 years, employed by the state to extract confessions and execute criminals–361 of them, to be exact. He tortured, flogged, and disfigured hundreds more, the details of which are chronicled in his private journal with blunt matter-of-fact. Modern published editions of his journal reflect no moral confusion resulting from his numerous…

The English Puritan Thomas Brooks

Yesterday was the 326th anniversary of the death of Thomas Brooks (d. 1680), an non-conformist English clergyman. He preached a series of sermons on Lamentations 3:24 that were eventually compiled and published in 1662 as An Ark for All God’s Noahs in a Gloomy Stormy Day. I discovered this passage while I waited during a…

The iPad Pro and LaTeX

First, some backstory. When the Note Bene suite of tools for academic writing first crossed my workflow back in 2006 or so, I was stunned that there was a resource that not only provided a word processor that allowed me to (thankfully) move off of MS Word, but managed and formatted my citations (Ibidem), and—-now this really…

Good Historians Shoot Raw

So I just realized — the debate in the world of digital photography of raw vs. jpg for file format is the same debate that we have in ecclesiastical history and historical theology. Raw files are not necessarily image files. They are more like data files that contain information not always immediately visible in the…

The h-index versus the i10-index: Metrics for Academic Research Impact

Admittedly, this is likely a post that only a librarian would write. If you are reading this you are likely a librarian as well, else perhaps a youngish academic building your scholarly portfolio. Regardless, this is cool. The h-index and the i10-index are metrics for measuring the impact of a scholar on the larger academic…

The Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship

The Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship at the Theologische Universiteit Kampen in The Netherlands is amazing. Every year the university invites a handful of PhD students from around the world to spend four weeks at the university studying, researching, and writing, followed by a summary paper presentation to the university community. Travel to and from The…

New Book: Brand Luther

A fascinating and well-researched look at “how an unheralded monk turned his small town into a center of publishing, made himself the most famous man in Europe, and started the Protestant Reformation.” Andrew Pettegree’s scholarly works continue to prove helpful. Luther thought that the printing press would usher in the end times due to its…

The Baptist History Rap Redux

Andrew, one of my students in Baptist History and Theology, recorded this take on the Baptist History Rap for extra credit. The original was recorded by Ashley Unzicker who gave permission for me to offer this as extra credit in my classes and now a student has finally taken me up on the offer.

The iPad Pro: Library Research & Article Annotation

I am a university CIO who began as a tech-oriented librarian. I now get to dream about innovative ways that libraries (information resources) and campus technology (information systems and services) can collaborate and collide to make new things possible. But I also retain a foot in the academic world as I try (emphasize on try)…

The iPad Pro: Writing and Reference Management

Using Microsoft Word is like shopping for a washing machine—it has more features than you need, has features you need but aren’t satisfied with, and it seems to break down more than it should. But, it’s ubiquitous and sometimes must be used. Not too many years ago Word for the iPad was such a pared…