Firstly let me sat that the ASDAH meetings were wonderful! Oakwood was fantastic and the papers presented were for the most part enjoyable & thought-provoking. The best part however was meeting up with people I have up till now only known via email. It was great to catch up with Julius (below left) and Michael (below right) (I’m the one in the middle if you hadn’t figured that out!)–two other SDA bloggers–and with Doug Morgan of the Adventist Peace Fellowship which I joined way back in 2001. It was also great to meet new people as well.
The meetings began with a fantastic banquet–who said historians don’t know how to run a conference!–on Thursday night.
The conference presentations began on Friday morning. I didn’t attend the panel session on “Historians in Administration: Higher Education – A Discussion” so I can’t comment on it. I attended instead the “New Issues in Adventist History” session where two papers (out of the scheduled three) were presented: Michael Campbell’s “Early Adventist Historians –ASDAH’s Founding Fathers” and “Seventh-day Adventists and the Religious Right: a Nineteenth-Century Perspective” by Dennis Pettibone. Both were very enjoyable & well-presented.
The second morning session I attended was “African-Americans in Adventist History”. Unfortunately this meant I missed out on “Tolerance and Intolerance” with papers by Lisa Clark Diller: “Persecuting the Intolerant Papists: How England Got its Act of Toleration”, Brian Strayer: “Claude Buosson Reconsidered“, Rachel Byrd: “Persecution: How Does It Happen? Some Insights from Sixteenth- Century England”, and Ann M. Scott: “Augustine’s City of God and Benedict’s Rule: Innovative Worldview and Preserved Paradigm“. I did however get to hear great presentations by Doug Morgan: “Lewis Sheafe: Adventism’s Forgotten Apostle to Black America“, Seneca Vaught: “Adventist Activists of the Civil Rights Movement”, and Alfonso Greene: “A Comparison of SDA Black Regional Conferences, Methodist Black Central Jurisdiction/Conferences and White SDA Conferences.” I was not entirely convinced by Vaught’s thesis, but he did point me to this great quote by Richard Wright:
“A man who worships in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, lives, psychologically, in a burning and continuous moment that never ends: the present is ever-lasting; the past is telescoped into the now; there is no future and at any moment Christ may come again and then the anxious tension of time will be no more… [My Grandmother] lived with all of us, yet, psychologically, she hovered somewhere off in space….Always she seemed to be peeping out of Heaven into the world while living in the world.”