Thinking About History as a Christian: Jay Green’s Outstanding Work

by Ron Wells. I am a member of the founding generation of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH). It was exciting when, as a very junior scholar, I was able to be present when the CFH was launched. Back then, no one in the American Historical Association (AHA) or elsewhere was talking much about …

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Princess Mononoke and History

by Jonathan Hielkema. No. When you talk about plants, or an ecological system or forest, things are very easy if you decide that bad people ruined it. But that's not what humans have been doing. It's not bad people who are destroying forests. –Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke follows a young native Japanese (Emishi) …

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Gordon Wood on Bernard Bailyn: American Religious History and ‘An Honest Picture of the Past’

by Kristin Du Mez. [This piece originally appeared as a guest contribution to Religion in American History. The first portion is republished here with permission of the author.] I wasn’t going to write on Gordon Wood and Bernard Bailyn. I’m not a colonialist. It’s been years since I’ve read their work, which in my recollection is far and …

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Learning Communities

by Will Katerberg Every year I teach a section of the history department's capstone course on historiography. The most basic questions in the course are: What is the nature of historical knowledge? Is objectivity possible? Is it necessarily desirable? How does historical thinking work? What is the purpose of historical study? To understand the world? To …

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The Historian at a Murder Trial

by Will Katerberg. Once I had jury duty and ended up a jury foreman in a murder trial. The trial was unusual in that there were two defendants, two juries, and two defense attorneys. The victim was a drug dealer who’d taken money from a friend of the two defendants. They broke into his house …

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Critical History and Sacred Tradition: Introduction

by Will Katerberg. It’s basic to modern historiography to draw a line between “critical history” and other ways of relating to the past, such as heritage, tradition, and memory. Most people don’t make this distinction. History is history. When they encounter it, "critical history" sometimes violates what they hold dear, making them angry or shaking …

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