narrowly on religious history(70+ or recent articles in FIDES on this subject,
with more thanhalf on American church history). He proposed increased
dialogue with Catholics and even with historians of other faiths (Jews and
Muslims) on common concerns. Lastly, hediscussed some of the strictures
recently raised by Alan Wolfe's ATLANTIC piece on the isolation ofthe
Needless to say, passionate debate ensued, followed by an informal
post-banquet session on these issues, on the state of the CFH, onthe
organization's raison d'etre, and possible initiatives.Possibly the CFH
membership will be asked to respond to these matters andon the question
"Why are We Here?"
Saturday beganwith Session 9, "CHRISTIANITY AND EDUCATION,"
chaired by Michael S. Hamilton,Seattle Pacific University, with papers by
Jeffrey P. Bouman, University of Michigan, "An Attempt toSatisfy All Parties:
Multi-Sectarianism atMichigan, 1837-1863,"Carol G. Woodfin, Palm Beach
Atlantic University, "Protestant Women andthe Battle for Confessional
Schools inthe Weimar Republic, 1918-1933," andAlbert Beck, Baylor
University, "Religious Discourse and thePreservation of Protestant Civic
Piety in Evangelical History Textbooks."Timothy E.Fulop, King College,
was commentator. Bouman arguedthat most American public universities
were not"non-religious."Michigan in the period under consideration began
as a multi-sectarian institution and then moved to a non-sectarianbut not
secular basis. This generally reflected contemporary society.
Woodfin's paper highlightedthe problems of the Weimar regime and
system in the framework ofthe issue of school secularization. The failure of
the Protestant Women's Auxiliaryto preserve state support of Protestant
schools led to wide-spreadconviction that the Weimar regime was hostile to
religion. This contributed to a weakening of support for the regime.
Beck's study concerned the values promoted by Christian primaryand
secondary school textbooks. Heconcluded that there are two basic
approaches:one which supports a kind of quasi-reformed "providential"
view of US history and a second that argues for a "dispensational" approach
to the American past. Frequentmotifs include the Christian Nation idea, the
providential natureof the American revolution and system, and the
promotion of a Protestant civic faith. The dispensationalists, henoted,
question American nation myths and the redeemernation concept; however,
some are restorationist, while some of the quasi-Reformed texts arecritical of