I teach history and serve as chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. My research interests center on the intersection of evangelicalism, Anabaptism, and Pietism. Moravian history is of particular interest. I have co-edited two books: The Activist Impulse: Essays on the Intersection of Evangelicalism and Anabaptism and Becoming Grace: Seventy-five years on the landscape of Christian higher education in America. I’m also privileged to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Moravian History. Though I am a historian, I am also concerned with larger questions about faith, politics, and current events.
Why “The Hermeneutic Circle?”
A Hermeneutic Circle is a representation of how one approaches the world of ideas. (Hermeneutics is the art of interpreting sources.) Sometimes we approach learning as a linear process – knowledge is “downloaded” from some source we consider to be an authority. But viewing learning as a circular process offers a better approach that takes into account our starting assumptions, encourages analysis of various sources, and allows for adjustment that can flex over time. To be a “life-long learner” is not simply to accumulate knowledge, but ideally, to move closer to the truth. (Though I don’t have a hierarchical approach to sources, my evangelical friends will want to know that on matters of faith, I do privilege the Bible with the full knowledge that biblical hermeneutics is itself an imperfect process.) This blog allows me to participate in the circle of ideas and conversations about topics that interest me and hopefully offer something that moves forward ongoing conversations.