Over at Religion in American History, Mark Edwards has opened a fascinating discussion about the state of Christian history, with particular attention to John Fea et. al.’s Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation.
The book is a collaborative effort by several members and fellow travelers of the Conference on Faith and History, including its editors Jay Green, John Fea, and Christopher Lasch biographer Eric Miller. Since 1967, the CFH has concerned itself with primarily one question: What difference does being a Christian make to the study and practice of history? I’ve heard the CFH referred to in private conversation as “the intellectual arm of the religious right.” Certainly, George Marsden’s Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship (Oxford, 1998), despite its huge popularity among the CFH and conservative Christian colleges, has been greeted with suspicion by those fearful that “integration of faith and learning” is theocratic code for “faith over learning.” But I’m not here to judge. Instead, I want to commend and recommend Confessing History essays for the questions they raise about ideology and history in general, as well as for their attempts to articulate a post-Marsden vision of Christian historiography.
Edwards also highlights Christopher Shannon‘s “merciless assault” on Marsden’s “naturalistic” approach to history. Read the whole thing – including the lively discussion in the comments section – here.
See also these responses from John Fea (and Jay Green, via John’s blog):
And D.G. Hart, “When Neo-Calvinism Started to Stop Making Sense”