American Society of Church History 33
Mark Hutchinson, University of Western Sydney
Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame
Dana L. Robert, Boston University
John Wolffe, The Open University
This discussion session is offered to accompany the publication of Mark Hutchinson and John Wolffe, A Short History of Global Evangelicalism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). The co-authors will be joined by three other leading scholars of the history of global evangelicalism to offer and respond to critical reflections on the book. The discussion will include both
- General consideration of the challenges of writing ‘global history’, which requires value judgements and trade-offs both in the foreground (selection, content, themes) and in the background (gaps in knowledge, authorial standpoint, assumptions) of the resulting text.
- Specific consideration of how a global perspective is leading to a revision of definitions and conceptualizations of evangelicalism that have hitherto been largely rooted in a North Atlantic and ‘missionary’ historiography.
In order to give specificity to the arguments, and to engage fully with the ‘Lives, Places Stories’ theme of the Annual Meeting, the speakers will focus their remarks by case studies of representative individuals across two centuries of evangelical history. All the life stories to be discussed linked places on at least two continents, and in some cases three or more. The speakers themselves – two Americans, an Australian, a Briton and a Sierra Leonean – will present perspectives from diverse national and historiographical traditions.