This colloquium will survey the history of Christian engagement with the state in the West. We will consider primary texts from the period of Roman persecution in the second century through the present day, with frameworks and prompts provided by the facilitators. We will focus on how the church in the West has viewed the state, but we will also explore how the church has both changed and been changed by the state, and how these impacts have varied depending on local and global conditions. Our sessions will take place the evening of September 14 through the late afternoon of September 15 at the headquarters of the American Bible Society in the historic section of Philadelphia. Our colloquium will conclude with a tour of the historic section of Philadelphia on the morning of September 16.
Chris R. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Director of Opus: The Art of Work and Professor, Wheaton College
Chris R. Armstrong is a church historian (Duke Ph.D. in American Christian history) who taught from 2004 to 2013 at Bethel Seminary, St Paul, Minn. At Bethel, he founded and directed an initiative on faith, work, and economics called Work with Purpose. In 2014 he came to Wheaton College to found and direct Opus: The Art of Work, an externally funded institute on faith and vocation. He was drawn to church history because he wanted to know how Christians have lived out their understandings of God, humanity, and the world; the same impulse drives his current research on faith, vocation, and human flourishing. His recent book Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C S Lewis (Brazos, 2016) finds in medieval Christian tradition some very “earthy” helps to living well in our natural, social, and cultural worlds.
John D. Wilsey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
2017-18 William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life, Princeton University
John D. Wilsey serves as affiliate scholar in theology and history for the Acton Institute. He is also associate professor of history at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. John's research area is in American church history, specifically the history of American religious nationalism and Christianity and public life. He is the author of two books and editor of a recently released abridgment of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. He is presently writing a religious biography of John Foster Dulles for Eerdmans' Religious Biography Series.