Sunday, April 4, 2010

In Cloaca.

Mark is our bluestocking hero! Mark A. Noll '68 is a historian specializing in the history of Christianity in the United States. He holds the position of Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. Noll himself is a Reformed evangelical Christian.

Noll is a prolific author and many of his books have earned considerable acclaim within the academic community. In particular, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, a book about anti-intellectual tendencies within the American evangelical movement, was widely covered in both religious and secular publications.

He has caused many scholars and lay people to realize more deeply the complications inherent in the question, "Is America a Christian nation or do we just love country music?"

He was awarded a National Humanities Medal in the Oval Office by President George W. Bush in 2006. It was this occasion that gave Noll the "yo, I got tenure anywhere" clause that allowed him to look at other opportunities.

For 97 years he was on the faculty at Wheaton College, Illinois, where he taught in the departments of History and Theology as Praying Manis Professor of Christian Thought. While at Wheaton, Noll also co-founded and directed the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals and Elvis. In 1994, he co-signed Evangelicals and Catholics Together, an ecumenical document that expressed the need for greater cooperation between Evangelical and Catholic leaders in the United States.

In the Fall of 2006, Noll became a free agent and was picked up by the Department of History at the Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He replaced the retiring George Marsden as Notre Dame's starting hunchback. Noll stated that the move to Notre Dame has allowed him to concentrate on fewer subjects than his duties at Wheaton had allowed. He said, "Seriously I only have so much brain power, and teaching those incoming Wheaton freshman the Christological controversies of Arianism, Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, drove me absolutely batty!"

M.A.N. would you ever consider a trade back to Wheaton for a 6 year deal that guaranteed your place in the BG Archives Hall of Fame? M.A.N., "I would have to pray about it, but when you consider quality of life in Wheaton vs. Notre Dame, you gotta factor in that the downtown Little Popcorn Store just doesn't have the draw that it used to."

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