investigated the tensions in 16th century Francebetween Protestant and
Catholic denunciations of dancing and the real significance of dancing inthe
social body, including its place in courtship, group activity,and funerals.
Despite religious prohibitions, itremained popular, as she demonstrated
using a number of visual examples.Prohibition may have been based on the
tendency todisorder expressed in dancing. Religious authorities developed
alternative practices in some instances, but such actions meant that dancingas
an expression of sociability became segregated from religious practice.
The second paper was "Puritan Identity andthe Later Elizabethan
Church: William Perkinsand the Powerful Exhortation" by Steve Pointer,
Trinity International University. Pointer's paperclosely examined the role of
Perkins as a second generation Puritan who was instrumental in adjustingthe
Puritan identity inlate Elizabethan England. Pointer examined Perkins'
covenant theology as part of his preaching of the need forrepentance among
individuals. This repentance would do much to lift the whole nation upin
God's eyes. Pointer thus saw Perkins as hoping to bring his nation closerto
the vision hehad for God's anointed people. Glenn Sanders of Oklahoma
Baptist University offered brief commentary noting the social significance of
religious figures in both cases.
"RELIGIOUS IDEAS AND 19thCENTURY ENGLAND" was the title of
Session 13,chaired by Jerry L. Summers, East Texas Baptist University.
Papers were presented on "Can AnythingGood Come out of Epworth?: The
Wesleyan Doctrine of Christian Perfection and theFormation of Victorian
Culture" by Stephen W. Rankin, SouthwesternCollege of Kansas, and "The
Silent Revolution and the Making of Victorian England"by Herbert
Schlossberg, Ethics and Public Policy Center.Dwight Brautigam, Huntington
College, served as commentator. Rankin's paper isa response to the Halevy
thesis that Methodism functionedas a diversion of the English working class
into an attitude of submission to authority. Heargued that this was due to a
fundamental misunderstanding of Wesley's doctrine spiritualperfection and
to Halevy's reliance on thewritings of a leading Wesley successor, Richard
Watson, who had subtly shifted the focus to duty.
Schlossberg discussedthe historiography of the concept of "Victorian"
and the denigration of the Victorian era by secular historians.He called for a
critique of naturalism and for a seizing ofthe initiative in the face of the
possible openness ofcontemporary relativism. He appealed to evangelical
historians to "do good work" in all areas of history.