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Modern France" by Marianne Ruel Robins, Westmont College.


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.


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.