PLENARY SPEAKERS

We are pleased to announce the plenary speakers for the 2024 Biennial Professional and Undergraduate Conference for the Conference on Faith and History. Information about registration and accommodations will be released soon. (Tag #CFH2024 on social media.)

Undergraduate Conference Speaker
Malcolm B. Foley | Baylor University and Mosaic Church
Foley studied African American Protestant responses to lynching for his doctoral dissertation at Baylor University, where he now serves as Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Campus Engagement, while also pastoring Mosaic Church in Waco, Texas. He is author of the forthcoming book, The Anti-Greed Gospel (Brazos) and a regular columnist at the Anxious Bench.

Professional Conference Speakers
Karen Swallow Prior | Independent Scholar
Prior is author of The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis (Brazos), On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books (Brazos), and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More (Thomas Nelson). She also has edited a series of literary classics as A Guide to Reading and Reflecting for BH Books. She has formerly taught literature at both Liberty University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and contributes regularly on her substack, The Priory, and as a regular columnist at Religious News Services.

Benjamin E. Park | Sam Houston State University
Park is author of American Zion: A New History of Mormonism (Liveright). Ben previously published the Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier (Liveright) and American Nationalisms: Conceiving Union in the Age of Revolutions, 1783-1833 (Cambridge UP). He is an Associate Professor at Sam Houston State University.

S. Jonathan Bass | Samford University
Bass is author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders, and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (LSU Press). He is a Professor of History at Samford University.

CFH Presidential Address
Lisa Clark Diller | Southern Adventist University
Diller is an expert on religion in early modern England, who contributed a reflection on Huguenot refugees to our 2020 CFH devotional, Faith and History: A Devotional (Baylor UP). She is a Professor of History at Southern Adventist University and a regular columnist at The Anxious Bench.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Conference on Faith and History

“Christian Historians and Their Contexts”

Samford University | Birmingham, Alabama

Undergraduate Conference: October 9-10, 2024

Professional Conference: October 10-12, 2024

Context is central to historical thinking. Historians may debate how best to discern context or how to account for it as they interpret the past to the present, but the work of history rests on the insight that nothing we study in the past happened in a vacuum. All such events and ideas have to be understood in relation to a complex web of factors that changes over time.

In choosing context as the overarching theme for this year’s meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, we mean to invite papers and panels on a wide variety of topics.

First, any of the contexts that Christian historians study. Of course, many CFH members investigate the history of their own faith, but others specialize in cultural, diplomatic, economic, environmental, intellectual, military, political, social, or sports history — or the history of religions other than Christianity. In that sense, this year’s theme is meant to underscore the breadth of work done by Christian historians, with papers and panels invited on all manner of historical contexts.

Given our conference setting in Birmingham, Alabama, we particularly encourage proposals related to that local context — e.g., on the Civil Rights Movement or religion in the American South.

But as importantly, we recognize that the work of history itself has to be contextualized. So second, we invite Christian historians to consider their own contexts, to reflect on the religious, social, political, intellectual, educational, professional, and other factors that inspire, constrain, encourage, complicate, influence, or otherwise shape their work. For example, the implications of doing history within a secondary school, a public history venue, or perhaps at a college facing declining enrollment, the response of historians to contemporary injustices, the importance of history in light of the 2024 presidential election, the practice of history within a particular denomination or tradition, and the role of Christian historians in an increasingly “post-Christian” America.

Proposals for CFH 2024 should be submitted by Monday, April 15, 2024.

• For the professional conference, complete this Form (forms.gle/SJtP4nnA173dGfs4A) to propose a paper, panel, or roundtable discussion; or email program chair Chris Gehrz (cgehrz@bethel.edu). For a panel or roundtable, the organizer can complete the form on behalf of other participants.

Please note that you must be a CFH member in order to present at this year’s professional conference. Click here to learn more about membership and join CFH.

• For the undergraduate conference, sponsoring faculty members or undergraduate applicants can email proposals to co-coordinator Annie DeVries (adevries@samford.edu).

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