Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Back in the Saddle and "Why Study History?"

My blogging vacation lasted a little longer than I expected, but I am back in the saddle. 

I used most of my Thanksgiving vacation to add 13,000 words to my forthcoming book.  Baker Academic has changed the title to "Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Study of the Past."  It will be a thin book--probably about 60,000 words.  My target audience is beginning college history majors. If all goes well in the editing process, it will be available next Fall.

Here is a very tentative working Table of Contents/Outline


Chapter One: What Do Historians Do?
  • History and the Past
  • The 5 C's of Historical Thinking
  • All Historians are Revisionists
  • Is Historical Knowledge Possible?
  • Summing Up
Chapter Two: In Search of a Useable Past
  • A Consumable Past
  • The "Presence of the Past"
  • The Inspirational Past
  • Escape into the Past
  • The Past Reminds Us Who We Are
  • The Past as Familiar
  • The Progressive Vision of the Past
  • Summing Up
Chapter Three:  The Past is a Foreign Country
  • Historicism
  • Empathy and Humility
  • A Case Study: An Encounter with Mormons
  • Summing Up
Chapter Four:  History and the Providence of God
  • The Doctrine of Providence
  • Providential History
  • The Light and the Glory
  • The Mystery of God and the Historian's Vocation
  • Summing Up
Chapter Five:  Christian Resources for the Study of the Past
  • Imago Dei
  • The Reality of Human Sin
  • An Incarnational Approach to the Past
  • The Role of Moral Reflection in Historical Work
  • Summing Up
Chapter Six: History for a Civil Society
  • What Does Democracy Require?
  • Our Current Malaise
  • History for a Civil Society
  • Summing Up
Chapter Seven:  The Power to Transform
  • History as Public Engagement
  • History as Love
  • History as a Spiritual Discipline
  • Summing Up
Chapter Eight:  So What Can You Do With a History Major?
  • Over twenty subtitles
Postscript: History and the Church

Appendix:  Proposal for "American History and a Civil Society"
  • Rationale
  • Vision
  • Implementation