Studying and Enjoying Restoration History – Humanities or Social Science Approach?
Universities house the History Department in various colleges, usually Humanities or Social Science. The culture of a society will be analyzed through humanities classes in religious studies, philosophy, and language. Social science students, aided by classes in political science, economics, and anthropology, form conclusions based on collected data.
So which approach is the most helpful in studying Restoration History?
The study of Joseph Smith’s interest in languages adds depth to the history of education offered in the Kirtland Temple, as well as his scriptural publications.
If we study the use of the writ of habeas corpus in Nauvoo, should we focus on the political climate in 1840’s Hancock County? Or should we use a review of jurisprudence, the philosophy of law, in analyzing how Church leaders attempted to avoid extradition through a local statute?
And how about the history of hymnody? Through conference addresses and the Hymnfest organized virtually by Katherine Hill last year, we learned how hymns helped create communities while teaching new Restoration doctrine.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with JWHA because of the varied backgrounds that members bring to our conferences and activities. Along with interests in the fields of humanities and social sciences, our JWHA members with expertise in music, textiles, and material culture have given us invaluable insights in Restoration history.
The Board of Directors and Executive Director have been tireless in their efforts.
I am grateful to the editors and authors of John Whitmer Journal articles, and John Whitmer Books publications for providing us with superb historical perspectives. Also, I sincerely thank those who help promote JWHA on social media, as well as our Newsletter Editor.
Best wishes to you as you continue your research, writing, and enjoyment of Restoration history.
Most of all, I appreciate the conversations shared with you on Restoration topics.
I cherish the memories of JWHA and serving as your president.