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definition of history

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  • Robert J. Miller
    Bob Schacht wrote: First, Miller s definition of history bothers me because I feel nervous about cutting ourselves loose from what happened in the past as
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 23, 2000
      Bob Schacht wrote:

      "First, Miller's definition of history bothers me because I feel nervous
      about cutting ourselves loose from "what happened in the past" as the
      ultimate standard of history. What I hear Miller clearly saying is that
      things that happened that we cannot "know" about are not a part of
      history.
      This seems a bit myopic to me. It seems to rule out, ex cathedra, some of
      the things about Jesus that his contemporaries felt were most important.
      We
      are close here to what I call the tyranny of the Normal."

      Bob, there's no philosophical agenda here, just a definition that insists
      that history is a form of human knowledge. So if something happened that
      no one knows about anymore, then it cannot be part of our historical
      knowledge. If in the future we discover evidence of that event, then it
      will be part of our history. The Dead Sea Scrolls existed since whenever
      they were written, but were not part of history until they were
      discovered in this century. Things that Jesus did that nobody
      remembered, and for which we have no evidence, are not part of our
      intellectual construct called the "historical Jesus."

      I will be traveling for a few weeks and so drop out of this list for a
      while. Thanks to all for the stimulating conversation.

      Merry Christmas,

      Bob Miller
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