Dr. Mike Kugler, professor of history at Northwestern College, contributed a chapter to Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation, published in November by the University of Notre Dame Press.
The volume was edited by Dr. Eric Miller, associate professor of history at Geneva College; Dr. John Fea, associate professor of American history at Messiah College; and Dr. Jay Green, associate professor of history at Covenant College. The book’s essays, written from several different theological and professional points of view, consider the challenges facing Christian historians and probe the relationship between Christian calling and the work of historians.
Kugler’s chapter is entitled “Enlightenment History, Objectivity, and the Moral Imagination.” He writes about three Enlightenment historians and religious skeptics—David Hume, Edward Gibbon and Mary Wollstonecraft—who, he says, “narrated pasts partly as stories of their own place in a religious world they found corrupt, bigoted and hypocritically intertwined with state authority.” Kugler concludes that anti-religious stories can actually aid Christian historians by encouraging them to emulate the humility promoted by the Gospel narratives.
Kugler, the 2006 recipient of the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award, joined the faculty in 1994. A specialist in 18th-century Enlightenment history, particularly the study of Scots debating the role of the Christian faith in secular culture, Kugler has presented his research at conferences in Ireland, as well as at the American Society of Eighteenth Century Scholars and the Conference on Faith and History. He has had articles published in Fides et Historia and The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.
Kugler earned a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in history from Western Washington University. He completed his undergraduate work at Judson Baptist College.