Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Burden of Church History

This evening I crashed the American Society for Church History meeting to hear Laurie Maffly-Kipp of the University of North Carolina deliver her presidential address: "The Burden of Church History."  Here are most of my tweets.  I hope Dr. Maffly-Kipp will forgive me for just using the the surname "Kipp" in the tweets.  With two hash tags (#aha2013 and #asch2013) I needed the additional characters.

Full house for Maffly-Kipp church history presidential address. Room is hot

Kipp: What does the ASCH as a professional organization have to do with "church?"  

Kipp: For our students, "religion" and "spirituality" is more relevant than "church"  

Kipp: Is the name "American Society of CHURCH History" still relevant? She has long "chafed" under this name.  

Kipp's research on African Americans have forced her to rethink the idea of "CHURCH History"  

Kipp: In the present we flee from institutional history, but the historical actors we study thought it was important  

Kipp gives the requisite history of the organization (ASCH). A staple of presidential addresses.  

Kipp: ASCH forced to deal with diversity in the 60s. Scholars began joining who did not have ecclesiastical affiliations.  

Kipp: "Church History" as providential history disappeared at turn of 20th c. Took "church history" out of the church  

Kipp: Is she talking about "church" as a denominational/universal community or as local building? Unclear  

Kipp: What is lost by the move away from a "church history" that has abandoned the church?  

Kipp: Failure to acknowledge power of religious institutions leads to failure to see how institutions shape our lives  

Kipp: Failure to recognize church as an institution is driven by modern sense of self that is rootless and individual.

Kipp: Flee from institutions in the study of church history means we no longer think doctrine or theology is important.  

Kipp: Flee from institutions in the study of church history results in subjugating religious history to politics and market forces  

Kipp: Riffing on "coffeehouse churches" as individualistic, personal freedom and the church as entrepreneurship.  

Kipp: Churches as a form of institutional community provides an alternative approach to the one that conflates church with nation .  

Kipp: Church history must become more international in order to shrink role of the nation down to a manageable size  

Kipp: ASCH needs more Catholics and Mormons. Too Protestant--always has been  

Kipp: ASCH must appreciate "pleasures and pains" of life in community as a professional organization. ASCH is more "human"   than the AHA or AAR.

Kipp: ASCH is a "society with the soul of a church"  

Free books tomorrow from ASCH display tables! !!!!