Presentation Title

Not To Be Counted As Dead Facts: A Philosophy of Seventh-day Adventist History

Presenter Status

Research Center Manager, Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research - General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Presentation Type

Oral presentation

Location

Buller Hall, Room 250

Start Date

23-5-2019 2:35 PM

Presentation Abstract

This paper will explore a philosophy of Seventh-day Adventist history. Do Seventh-day Adventists have a history? What do Adventists remember, and what do they forget? What stories do they tell each other, and why? Far too often, Seventh-day Adventists are fond of quoting Ellen G. White’s 1915 statement, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” without necessarily taking thought for the presuppositions and implications involved in the statement. What do we use to substantiate this past history? More broadly, this paper seeks to stimulate discussion on how Seventh-day Adventists should approach their past history and not be bound with the ways it has been discussed before. If Seventh-day Adventists merely rely on our shared knowledge, on the selected stories passed down to each subsequent generation, then we are substituting heritage for history, leaning on the denomination's collective memory rather than investigating for ourselves as to what our past is.

Biographical Sketch

Ashlee Chism is presently the Research Center Manager with the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Her current research interests are Adventist literary culture, the lives of Adventist women, piracy, and how literary works impact the cultures they're produced and consumed in. She holds a BA in English from Southern Adventist University and a Master's of Science in Information, specializing in Archives and Records Management, from the University of Michigan.

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COinS
 
May 23rd, 2:35 PM

Not To Be Counted As Dead Facts: A Philosophy of Seventh-day Adventist History

Buller Hall, Room 250

This paper will explore a philosophy of Seventh-day Adventist history. Do Seventh-day Adventists have a history? What do Adventists remember, and what do they forget? What stories do they tell each other, and why? Far too often, Seventh-day Adventists are fond of quoting Ellen G. White’s 1915 statement, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” without necessarily taking thought for the presuppositions and implications involved in the statement. What do we use to substantiate this past history? More broadly, this paper seeks to stimulate discussion on how Seventh-day Adventists should approach their past history and not be bound with the ways it has been discussed before. If Seventh-day Adventists merely rely on our shared knowledge, on the selected stories passed down to each subsequent generation, then we are substituting heritage for history, leaning on the denomination's collective memory rather than investigating for ourselves as to what our past is.