Thursday, May 16, 2013

Preparing for the Publication of "Why Study History?"

Today I received the marketing plan for Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the PastI am glad that Baker Academic is committed to getting the word out about this book.

I am hoping to do some speaking engagements related to the book.  Perhaps a talk on the book might suit your 2013-2014 lecture, seminar, or faculty development needs.  We could also do something that combines Why Study History and Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction.  We are booking dates now, so please contact me at jfea(at)messiah(dot)edu if you are interested in discussing this further.

Why Study History is an introduction to the study of the past.  It is written for beginning college history majors, but it is more than just a textbook.  I have tried to write in such a way that calls attention to the important role that history can play in the revitalization of American life.

Why Study History has a few chapters that specifically discuss the connections between Christianity and the "doing" of history. I argue that the study of the past can strengthen the Christian church and help us to grow spiritually.  I hope that Christian colleges and universities, schools, and churches might find this part of the book to be useful.

In other words, we are marketing this book to Christian and non-Christian audiences, to students and self-proclaimed "history buffs."

Here is the blurb for the book that is currently up at Amazon:

What is the purpose of studying history? How do we reflect on contemporary life from a historical perspective and can such reflection help us better understand ourselves, the world around us, and the God we worship and serve?

In this introductory textbook, accomplished historian John Fea shows why Christians should study history, how faith is brought to bear on our understanding of the past, and how studying the past can help us more effectively love God and others. Deep historical thinking can relieve us of our narcissism; cultivate humility, hospitality, and love; and transform our lives more fully into the image of Jesus Christ.

Here is the Table of Contents:

1.  What Do Historians Do?
2.  In Search of a Useable Past
3.  The Past is a Foreign Country
4.  Providence and History
5.  Christian Resources for the Study of the Past
6.  History for a Civil Society
7.  The Power to Transform
8.  So What Can You Do With a History Major?

Epilogue:  History and the Church
Appendix: Proposal: Center for American History and a Civil Society