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This conference paper was originally published as:

Patrick, A. N. (2009, January 15-18). Religious history in Century 21: Reflections on the demand for credible historiography. Paper presented at the New Perspectives on Christianity Conference, Cooranbong, Australia.


Historiography in its secular and religious expressions is not immune from controversy; for instance, secular historians speak of “history wars” and religious historians are aware that intense conflicts can arise from their attempts to write the history of Christianity in general or that of Christian denominations in particular. The communication of religious ideas may never have been easy, even in biblical times: Isaiah asked “Who has believed what we have heard?” and Luke noted the women’s testimony regarding Christ’s resurrection seemed even to the apostles to be “an idle tale” that was unbelievable (see Isaiah 53:1, Luke 24:11, RSV). From its beginnings as recounted in Acts, Christianity has relied upon history as a vehicle for sharing its message. Since it is imperative for Christian historiography to be as sustainable as it is possible for it to be, this paper acknowledges there are problems of credibility in modern and post-modern religious historiography and it seeks to offer constructive reflections for consideration by historians and others who engage with religious ideas. While an exploration of this subject is relevant for Christians in general, the main focus of this presentation is limited to issues that confront Seventh-day Adventists.


This conference paper was presented 16 January 2009 at the “New Perspectives on Christianity” conference, Avondale College, Australia, 15-18 January 2009.

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