Monday, 12 December 2011

New Issues of Fides et Historia

The new issue of Fides et Historia (Summer/Fall 2011) is currently out, and it includes some interesting articles and book reviews. The first section is a forum on "Reconciling the Historian's Craft and Religious Belief," and includes essays by Brad Gregory, Mark Noll, Anthea Butler, David Hollinger, and Bruce Kucklick (among others). I found Noll's article to be one of the most interesting. He examines the work of the English philosopher F.H. Bradley and whether scholars should value accounts of the supernatural when writing history.

The second section is an interesting roundtable discussion on the book, Confessing History. I think that Jay Green's essay expresses the sentiment of many Christian historians who look up to the work of historians such as Noll and Marsden.

Finally, there are a number of good reviews. Steven Pointer writes about Alister Chapman, John Coffey, and Brad Gregory (eds), Seeing Things Their Way: Intellectual History and the Return of Religion. All religious and intellectual historians should read this book. Yours truly reviewed the superb new biography on Adam Smith by Nicholas Phillipson. Timothy Larsen nobly defends Eric Metaxas's Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy from the criticism of Martin Marty and others. Thomas Kidd brings to light Laren Winner's A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia. And Richard Gildrie reviews Mark Valeri's latest book, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America. I have an admitted bias for the eighteenth century, but many of these books would make welcome additions to the personal libraries of religious scholars.

I am a proud member of the Conference on Faith and History, and the current issue reaffirms to me that other historians have a similar outlook on how to do religious history.

Jonathan Yeager

No comments: