The committee for the 2015 Conference of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History–Andrew Hartman (Illinois State University), Michael Kimmage (Catholic University), Claire Rydell (Stanford University), and Jonathan Wilson (Syracuse University)—is pleased to announce that the seventh annual S-USIH Conference will […]
The Society for U.S. Intellectual History announces its Annual Book Award for the best book in American intellectual history.The book should be a work of original scholarship. Books eligible for the 2015 award must be published in English in the […]
Opening the 2014 S-USIH on Thursday October 9, is a plenary entitled, The Ideology Problem in Teaching and Scholarship. Among the panelists is a surprise addition, Rick Perlstein, author most recently of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise […]
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What follows is a version of the talk Christopher Shannon gave as part of a plenary at the most recent S-USIH Conference in Indianapolis on the topic: “The Ideology Problem in Teaching and Scholarship.” Shannon is associate professor of history at Christendom College in Virginia. He is the author of two books: Conspicuous Criticism: Tradition, the Individual and Culture in Modern American Social Thought and A World Made Safe for Differences: Cold War Intellectuals and the Politics of Identity. He has a forthcoming book, The Past as Pilgrimage: Narrative, Tradition and the Renewal of Catholic History which he is co-authoring with Christopher Blum.
“What are our histories of culture, of civilization, of progress, of humanity, of truth, save the form of ecclesiastical history in harmony with our times—that is to say, of the triumph and propagation of the faith, of the strife against the powers of darkness, of the successive treatments of the new evangel made afresh with each succeeding epoch?” This shock of recognition comes not from a contemporary scholar engaging the work of George Marsden or Brad Gregory, but rather from Benedetto Croce in his 1920 work Theory and History of Historiography.  Croce’s rhetorical question came in the course of his reflection on just his own particular episode in the never ending crisis of historicism, which is in no small way related to the never ending crisis of ideology. A specter haunts the histories of both historicism and ideology, and it is the specter of religion—more specifically Christianity, most specifically Catholicism. (more…)