posted October 8, 2004

Hope Hosts Conference on Faith and History

Hope College will host scholars from around the country during the 24th Biennial Conference of the Conference on Faith and History on Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 13-16, 2004.

Some 225 historians are anticipated for the event, which will include both student and faculty conferences in the Haworth Inn and Conference Center.Members of the community are invited to attend. Admission will be free to most of the presentations. Only the conferences' luncheon and dinner events will require a fee and advance registration.

The student conference, which is the second such event organized specifically for students in conjunction with the faculty conference, will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. with the address "Christianity, Class, and a Historian's Vocation" by John Fea of the Messiah College faculty.

The student conference will continue with four sets of concurrent presentations on Thursday, Oct. 14, starting at 8 a.m. and running through 4 p.m. Topics will range from "Perspectives on the Civil War," to "Church-State Issues in American History," to "American Popular Culture in the 1960s."

The registered student participants will also attend a luncheon featuring a panel presentation.

The Oct. 14-16 faculty conference's theme will be "Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocation." Along with research papers, the conference will feature sessions that reflect on the Christian historian's life, thought and work, in an effort to foster a broad and deepened conversation about the relationship between Christian faith and the craft of history.

The faculty conference will begin with the address "Faith Seeking Historical Understanding" by Mark Schwehn of Valparaiso University on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. Other major presentations include "For Teachers to Live, Professors Must Die" by Lendol Calder of Augustana College on Friday, Oct. 15, at 1:30 p.m.; and the panel discussion "An Open Forum on the State of the Conference on Faith and History" on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1:30 p.m.

All of the major addresses will be delivered in one of the Haworth's Ballroom locations. Those wishing to attend will be directed to the correct, easy-to-find locations.

Several concurrent sessions will run on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., covering topics such as "Teaching History as Christian Vocation," "Biography and the Christian Historian," "Developing a Christian Perspective on International Affairs" and "Christian Historians as Custodians of Memory."

The registered participants will attend a banquet Friday evening that will feature the address "History--the 'True Friend of Virtue?': Reflections on History, Vocation and the Conference on Faith and History" by Shirley Mullen, who is a member of the faculty at Westmont College and president of the Conference on Faith and History.

The Conference on Faith and History is a professional organization comprised of Christian historians concerned with relating their faith to the issues of historical study from various perspectives and utilizing various methodologies. The organization seeks to encourage Christian scholars as they explore the relationship of their faith to historical studies, to provide a forum for the discussion of current scholarship, to foster research in the general area of faith and history, and to enable interaction among scholars and people from all walks of life who are interested in the subject.

In addition to holding the biennial conferences, the CFH publishes a scholarly journal, "Fides Et Historia," and a periodical newsletter. Based at Huntington College in Indiana, the CFH is an affiliate organization of the American Historical Association.

Dr. Fred L. Johnson III, assistant professor of history at Hope, is the local arrangements chair for the conferences. Johnson will also be chairing the student session on the Civil War on Thursday, Oct. 14.

While members of the Hope and West Michigan communities may attend most of the presentations at no cost, those interested in the luncheon and dinner events must pre-register. Registration for the student conference is $30, and for the 24th biennial faculty conference is $75.

Additional information may be obtained by calling the college's department of history at (616) 395-7590.