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Confession, Tradition, Perspective:

Tools and Communities of Interpretation for the Christian Historian

by Jay Green (Covenant College)

The 2002 meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, to be held

October 10-12, 2002, at HuntingtonCollege, will be devoted to an ongoing

dialogue about the organization's long-term goals. This willtake the form of

a meeting that tries to embody some ofthe objectives for which the

Conference stands. We intend for thismeeting to stimulate a conversation

about the strengths of the CFH as well as its currentshortcomings and

blinders. In thisspirit, we hope to draw from the collective wisdom of those

that have shaped the organization, clarifying theiroriginal vision and more

fully understanding the mind and issues that first gave riseto the

organization. Likewise, we hope to introduce new voices to the discussion

that will chasten andchallenge us to go in new directions. What follows is a

draft of the program proposal. A final versionwill be circulated this fall. Let

us know your reactions. Contact me via eMail at: jdgreen@covenant.edu.

Participants in themeeting will consider the resources that believing

historians might utilize to organize and interpret the past.

Sessions will

explore the confessional frameworks and traditions of Christian belief that

inform the ways that Christians respond to,critique, and evaluate both the

"nuts and bolts"research components of history as well as the larger trends

in modern historiography. Thus, the meetingwill not highlight conventional

papers that only display the external outworking of primary research.

This is

not tosay we are primarily interested in rarified, abstract philosophy or

theology of history (as an end initself). The intent of this non-traditional

meeting is to display papers and sessionsthat discuss the underlying and

organizing theories that stand behind our research endeavors and methods,

as well as inform ourencounters with modern historiography. The goal of

this gathering is to provide a forum for discussing the particular Christian

confessional obligations,doctrinal convictions, methodological tenets,

communities ofdiscourse, moral ideals, and/or philosophical perspectives

that give life toChristian historical analysis. It hopes to provide a healthy