Getting History Right

A smorgasbord of delights for both the history nerd and the history sceptic.

“I think people just arbitrarily impoverish their experience by the prejudice against the past.” 

Does history get you excited – or make your eyes glaze over? This episode of Life & Faith draws together morsels of insight, warning, and surprise from some superstar historians and thinkers who want to show you a different side to the past.  

Simon and Natasha discuss the question: if history were a person, what would your relationship to them be like? Marilynne Robinson urges us not to separate ourselves from the pain and error of those who’ve gone before, Alister McGrath challenges our flattened-out version of the past, Nick Spencer ponders the law of unintended consequences, and much more. Join us for a whirlwind tour of the pitfalls and pleasures of history! 


Included in this episode: 

Marilynne Robinson, “On our prejudice against the past 

Marilynne Robinson, “On original sin 

Rodney Stark, “On judging the past 

Alister McGrath, “On Christianity vs Darwinism 

Sarah Coakley, “On an early escape hatch for women 

Nick Spencer, “On popes and power 

Robert Woodberry, “On the invisibility of missionaries 

Robert Woodberry, “On what makes missionaries invisible 

Catherine Brekus, “On how women keep churches going 

Nick Spencer, “On historical amnesia 

David Bentley Hart, “On modernity’s creation myth 

David Bentley Hart, “On how Christianity revolutionised our world 


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