Today, I’ve been invited by Chris Gehrz to contribute a guest post at the Anxious Bench group blog.
In the post, I briefly describe a three-session course I taught last month at an Episcopal church near Philadelphia. Rather than focus on a specific historical topic, this series examined “historical thinking” itself.
As I explain in the post:
At a time when public debates over history are fierce (and often very embarrassing), I’ve come to believe that one of the urgent tasks facing historians is to help our fellow citizens understand what history’s all about in the first place. We need to help people step back and gain some perspective before, or at least while, they charge into partisan debates. …
Can we try a variety of experiments like this? Can we find ways to bring historical investigation into the life of the church as something more than an instrument of adversarial apologetics or politics? Conversely, can our churches be dissemination points for humane historical thinking in our larger communities?
The post briefly summarizes each of the three sessions I put together, and it offers some tentative thoughts on how well the series worked.