Category Archives: Writing History

On the Development of Protestant Historiography (Part II)

[Continued from Part I. Again, the bold-faced headings are taken from the book.] Confessional Histories in the Age of Orthodoxy In the 17th century age of confessionalism, all sides continued to use history merely to support their own factional claims … Continue reading

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On the Development of Protestant Historiography (Part I)

[NOTE: The material on which I'm basing this outline covers 40 pages of a book, so to avoid making an excessively long post that nobody will have time to read, I'm breaking it up into two parts over a couple … Continue reading

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Historical Theology and Dogmatic Theology

Writing of the relatively new (250 years old) discipline of the critical study of history, James E. Bradley and Richard A. Muller offer an intriguing take on the relationship of history to dogmatic theology. Prior to the advent of the … Continue reading

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Critical Historiography and “Objectivity”

In their work Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995), James E. Bradley and Richard A. Muller try to strike a balance between two seemingly opposed elements of … Continue reading

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“Retrospective Positivism” and Newman’s Theory of Development

Euan Cameron has an interesting remark on the contrast between Catholic historiography between (1) the time of the Reformation to the 19th century and (2) post-19th century. Catholic historiography from the time of the Reformation up to the 19th century … Continue reading

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“The Signs of the Times”: An Alternative Catholic View of the Relationship of History and Theology

“The idea that faith is anchored in history is not a novelty,” writes Giuseppe Ruggieri, “when we recall that from the beginning Christian biblical faith has been the recognition of God’s action in the history of a people (Israel) and … Continue reading

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Back to the Sources….With New Eyes

“Piercing the layered veils of historical understanding involves a return to the sources with questions and categories beyond those available at the time under study.” [Joseph W. Koterski, “Discerning the More Fruitful Paths to Reform: Pierre Favre and the Lutheran … Continue reading

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History as Gestalt Perception

George Marsden’s essay “Common Sense and the Spiritual Vision of History” [History and Historical Understanding, ed. C.T. McIntire and Ronald A. Wells (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1984), pp. 55-68] tries to chart a course between highly … Continue reading

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More on Historical Understanding and Faith Commitments

M. Howard Rienstra’s article “History, Objectivity, and the Christian Scholar” [History and Historical Understanding, ed. C.T. McIntire and Ronald A. Wells (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1984), pp. 69-82] explores the question of how faith and history … Continue reading

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History and Christian Visions of Its Meaning

Langdon Gilkey observes the commonly-accepted dual meaning of th word history: “the sequence itself of novel and unpredictable events” and “a report on or interpretation of that sequence.”:”(“Scripture, History, and the Quest for Meaning,” in History and Historical Understanding, ed. … Continue reading

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