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Why Study (Brethren in Christ) History?

As a graduate student in history, I’m always reading essays, articles, and blog posts about the historical universe beyond Brethren in Christ or even religious history. That’s how I came across this great new post from The Historical Society: “I hate history”: Thinking of Ways to Get the Average, History-Hating Student Interested in the Study of the Past.

In the post, Randall Stephens — associate professor of history and Eastern Nazarene College — discusses his methods for getting the “average history-hating gen ed student” to get interested in the topic. Here’s a taste:

I like to start off . . . with a general “Why study history” lecture. We study the past to know who we are and to know how history still shapes the present, I tell them. History is also our collective memory. Just as we think it is not best for a person to have amnesia, we also think it is best for a society to have a collective memory. I also usually touch on the chief contributions historians have made to our understanding of what it means to be human. And, I spend some time looking at the very different views various historians have concerning the same events.

The writer ends with an open invitation for others to share their “why study history” conversation-starters.

The post got me thinking: Why do people study (or have an interest in) Brethren in Christ history? I have my own thoughts . . . but before I share those, I want to hear from you!

Readers: Why do you enjoy studying, reading, or learning about Brethren in Christ history? Share your thoughts in the Comments section!

3 responses to “Why Study (Brethren in Christ) History?

  1. Studying BIC history is a powerful corrective to the sadly human inclination of assuming we are the smartest, most with-it, and most missional Brethren in Christ who ever lived. It is humbling to hear what wise voices from our past have to tell us. The word choices may be archaic and gender exclusive language can prick our politically correct skin, but if we look beyond these surface details to the heart of the writers, there’s a lot to be learned.

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