At the end of his landmark 1994 book, The Soul of the American University, historian George Marsden asserted that religious faith does indeed have a place in today's academia. Marsden's contention sparked a heated debate on the role of religious faith and intellectual scholarship in academic journals and in the mainstream media. The contributors to Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocationexpand the discussion about religion's role in education and culture and examine what the relationship between faith and learning means for the academy today.
The contributors to Confessing Historyask how the vocation of historian affects those who are also followers of Christ. What implications do Christian faith and practice have for living out one's calling as an historian? And to what extent does one's calling as a Christian disciple speak to the nature, quality, or goals of one's work as scholar, teacher, adviser, writer, community member, or social commentator? Written from several different theological and professional points of view, the essays collected in this volume explore the vocation of the historian and its place in both the personal and professional lives of Christian disciples.
"Confessing History fills a large gap in the literature on Christian and especially evangelical historiography. I know of no other book or anthology of scholarly articles that so carefully analyzes how believing historians should work within the intellectual expectations of the guild. And it does so with pristine prose, impressive erudition, and charity of spirit. After reading Confessing History, I find myself compelled to take the prescriptions and proscriptions of the secular academy less seriously and my identity as a Christian historian more seriously." --Grant Wacker, Duke University
"How to reconcile religious commitment with the practices of the guild is one of the really big questions for believing historians. Confessing Historyis essential reading not only for them, but also for any wishing to understand the important issues at stake. In its pages we witness the concerns, questions, and yearnings of a new generation of believing historiansÑand perhaps even the contours of a new approach to Christian historical scholarship." --Donald Yerxa, Director, The Historical Society
"This collection of essays represents serious, sustained, multivalent, and cogent reflection on challenges for Christian historians as experienced by a mostly younger set of scholars. The volume acknowledges foundational work on such subjects carried out by a collection of older evangelical and Reformed scholars--including Ronald Wells, Darryl Hart, and George Marsden--but also moves well beyond these earlier voices, sometimes critiquing what they have written, but also sometimes venturing off into new directions." --Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame