Directed Reading

Those of you who are following my PhD escapades probably already know I’m not doing a regular seminar this quarter. Rather, I’m doing a directed reading, which basically means instead of reading books and going to class and doing a couple of presentations and writing a major paper I am, this quarter, reading a lot of books and writing a major paper. I decided to add a church history minor to my theology PhD and this directed reading is the first step of that. I decided that I really did love reading history just about more than any other subject, and for me to more joyfully press on in PhD studies I needed to add that first love to my overall studies. Second, it helps me in the future as it gives me a broader range to teach, and thus a broader range of employability.

I have kept in mind my overall dissertation interests, however, and so am trying to explore areas of history which might help me better understand renewal and separatist movements in the church. I’m going to be focusing on American church history, for the most part, as this has already been a big area of my past studies. This quarter I’m looking specifically at Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and Quakers. With a bit of added reading on the broader early history of Baptists in America. Getting myself nicely enmeshed in the world of 17th century New England. My plan is to write a major paper on why these nonconformists felt they needed to separate from the established churches of their day. In other words, I’m curious about those who protest the Protestants.

Depending on where the research takes me this might add an interesting historical component to the latest nonconformists–those of the emerging church. I know this movement cannot be seen as just a new expression of those older movements–but maybe there’s an interesting movement within the church that blossoms in certain ways, during certain eras, that has a prophetic, Spirit-led, aspect of protest. In exploring these early drives and the persecution they endured, there might be insights into the present day expressions and battles. We’ll see…

In case you’re interested, here’s my reading list for this Fall quarter:

• Barclay, Robert. Barclay’s Apology.

• Byrd, James P. The Challenges of Roger Williams : Religious Liberty, Violent Persecution, and the Bible. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2002.

• Fox, George. The Journal of George Fox.

• Gaustad, Edwin S. Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991.

• Gaustad, Edwin S., and Mark A. Noll. A Documentary History of Religion in America. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2003.

• Hall, David D. The Antinomian Controversy, 1636-1638 : A Documentary History. 2nd ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 1990.

• Hall, Timothy. Anne Hutchinson: Puritan Prophet. Prentice Hall, (forthcoming 2009/2010).

• ———. Separating Church and State: Roger Williams and Religious Liberty. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.

• Morgan, Edmund S. Roger Williams: The Church and the State. New York: Norton, 2007.

• Pestana, Carla Gardina. Quakers and Baptists in Colonial Massachusetts. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

• Porterfield, Amanda. Female Piety in Puritan New England: The Emergence of Religious Humanism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

• Spencer, Carol Dale. Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism. Colorado Springs: Paternaster, 2007.

• Williams, Roger. The Complete Writings of Roger Williams. Paris, Ark: Baptist Standard Bearer, 2005. 7 Volumes.

• Winship, Michael P. The Times and Trials of Anne Hutchinson: Puritans Divided. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2005

• Lindman, Janet Moore. Bodies of Belief: Baptist Community in Early America. U. of Penn. Press, 2008.

There might be a few more (or a few more than a few more) other books as well, especially as I get closer to the paper writing. Should be fun!

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