History

WITNESSING TO THE SOVEREIGNTY AND PROVIDENCE OF GOD THROUGHOUT HISTORY

The term history derives from the Greek word historeo, which can be translated either “to visit” or “to see.” Of course, both senses of historeo—“to visit and to see”—express our philosophy of history. We “visit” history through great books as we travel through time and “visit” kings and kingdoms, philosophers and fools, heroes and villains. Thus “visiting” we are made “to see” in two ways—imaginatively and intellectually. Imaginatively, “we see” through factual and fictional books that stimulate and color our imagination about the events and personages of history; intellectually, “we see” in terms of comprehension as the study of history enables us to observe, analyze, interpret, and learn from the totality of the past—we study the past to understand the present and prepare for the future. Philosophically, as a classical school we emphasize the study of Western history and culture, but we also recognize the increasing importance of non-western cultures in the twenty-first century, such as China, India, and the Islamic nations, and therefore we integrate the study of non-western history and culture into our curriculum as appropriate. Pragmatically, we create instructional paradigms for the meaningful study of history, such as chronology, philosophy, biography, and economics. We also emphasize primary texts as our best source of historical information. But most importantly, history is “His story”—that is, history witnesses to the sovereignty and providence of God at all times and in all events, and thus “to visit” and “to see” history is really “to visit” and “to see” His story.

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