Did Rome Fall? And Other Historical Questions That We Need to Ask But Seldom Do

Christopher Schlect discusses the need to teach our history students to interrogate the historical narratives that frame our conceptions (and misconceptions) of the past:

Historical “facts” do not speak for themselves. They have meaning only when we place them into a narrative frame. As Christian educators we need to teach our history students to interrogate the historical narratives that frame our conceptions (and misconceptions) of the past: Was there a Renaissance? The Middle Ages occurred in the middle of what? Did the Puritans dominate the culture of colonial New England? Did the generation gap widen in the 1960s?

Christopher Schlect

Christopher Schlect, PhD, has worked in classical and Christian education for over 25 years. As Fellow of History at New Saint Andrews College, he teaches courses in ancient and medieval civilizations, US history, American Christianity, medieval education, and Classical Rhetoric, among other subjects. He has also taught introductory and advanced courses in U.S. history and Ancient Rome at Washington State University. He is the Director of New Saint Andrews College’s graduate program in Classical and Christian Studies. He taught history and the Bible at Logos School in Moscow, ID, for many years, and serves classical and Christian schools around the country through his consulting and teacher-training activities. His published writings appear in various school curricula and other outlets. Schlect’s research in 20-century Protestant church life has earned numerous competitive grants and fellowships, and he has presented his research at meetings of the American Historical Association, the American Society of Church History, the American Academy of Religion, and the Idaho Council for History Education. He was recently named the 2016–17 distinguished lecturer for the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities. His historical work includes service as a ranger for the U.S. National Park Service, where he specialized in Protestant missions to the Nez Perce people and interpreted historical sites and material culture for members of the public. Schlect is a teaching elder at Trinity Reformed Church (CREC) in Moscow, ID. He and his wife, Brenda, have five children, all products of a classical and Christian education. They also have one grandchild.

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