Friday, April 11, 2014

"Writing Religious Lives"

Here are my tweets.  This was a great panel.  It inspired me to write religious biography again.

Read from the bottom in order to see the Tweets in chronological order.  For more about the panel click here.  For responses, retweets, and favorites check out #oah2014 or @johnfea1

  1. Does the religious historian cast evaluative judgment on his/her subjects even if they come to believe the subject was a fraud?
  2. Wheeler concludes she is not suited to write a "trade book." To much imagery is needed. Calls herself a "cultural Protestant"
  3. Wheeler: Lawrence's paper reminds us that we need to write with "novelistic texture," but how is that done?
  4. Wheeler offers sympathy to Rick Pointer's Johan Papunhank project. Great project, but sources limited. Affirms his approach.
  5. Wheeler commenting. Presenters are writing something akin to microhistorical biography. How the subject illuminate larger trends
  6. Hayes: How does the biographer distinguish Johnny Cash the "actual person" from Cash the public figure
  7. Hayes: Biography helps us to bring some order to religious belief, a subject that is often like nailing jelly to wall.
  8. Hayes discussing religious dimensions of Johnny Cash-Rick Rubin. Parted with Cash's '70s evangelicalism and '80s Xtian Right
  9. Hayes: Johnny Cash was the Youth for Christ Man of the Year in 1979. Published a novel about St. Paul called "The Man in White"
  10. John Hayes is up. Talking about his work on writing the religious life of Johnny Cash.
  11. Paddison's figure (named "Harris" but didn't get 1st name) is fascinating. Would like to hear more on how to write religious lives.
  12. Joshua Paddison of Wittenburg University talking about writing microhistory of a 19th-century spiritual seeker.
  13. Lawrence: Writing biography is a bounded exercise (life of the subject), But subject's spirituality explodes those boundaries
  14. Lawrence: Be careful about casting Jarena Lee as a forward-looking proto-feminist hero.
  15. Lawrence: Novel writing helped her understand how Jarena Lee's travels influenced her understanding of womahood and motherhood @oah2014
  16. Lawrence's novel writing on Jarena Lee helped her give dramatic shape to her biography of Lee.
  17. Lawrence: Jarena Lee was the 1st A-A female preacher. Lawrence started her work on Lee by trying to write a novel about her.
  18. Anna Lawrence of Fairfield University is up. She is writing a history of Jarena Lee.
  19. Pointer gives shout out to the untapped resources of the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem.
  20. Pointer: Most Papunhank stuff is in German script. For Pointer this requires translation, which means $ and funding.
  21. Pointer: We may see through a glass darkly on Papunhank, but still enough material to go on.
  22. Pointer: We should not shy away from writing biographies just because we only have info on a PART of the subject's life.
  23. Why write about Papunhank? Scholarship is better and provides more context for his life.
  24. Rick just gave my 2014 AHA paper on American Presbyterians in the 1750s and 1760s a shout-out. Thanks!
  25. Rick Pointer of Westmont College is up. Talking about writing about Munsee Indian John Papunhank
  26. Rachel Wheeler introducing the panel: "Writing Religious Lives"
  27. Live Tweeting OAH Session: "Writing Religious Lives": Chair and Commentator: Rachel Wheeler (Indiana Universit...