Challenges and Resolutions

  • Keith C. Sewell
Part of the Studies in Modern History book series (SMH)


Butterfield gradually reconciled himself to the reality that the technical and the expository could not be divorced in practice. In 1951 he had stated:

Unfortunately, the two kinds of history … one which seeks to resurrect the past and the one which examines the processes of time — can never be really separated without misfortune. On the one side … our analysis of the course of things may be defective if we have failed to reconstitute the historic moment in all its fullness. On the other side mere narration and description are in danger of being too intent on scenic display, too preoccupied with the mere surface of things …1


Moral Progress Christian Belief Professional Historian Sociological Explanation Christian View 
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  1. 5.
    Review of Iggers, EHR 86 (1971), 338; cf. G. G. Iggers, The German Conception of History (1968), esp. pp. 63–89.Google Scholar
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    E. H. Carr, What is History? (1961), pp. 35–6.Google Scholar
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    Ved Mehta, Fly and the Fly-Bottle (1963), p. 204.Google Scholar
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    Thomas S. Kuhn, ‘The Function of Dogma in Scientific Research’, delivered 1961, published 1963.Google Scholar
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    Harold T. Parker, ‘Herbert Butterfield’, in Some 20th Century Historians: Essays on Eminent Europeans ed. S. W. Halperin (1961), pp. 99–100.Google Scholar
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    Ved Mehta, ‘Onward and Upward with the Arts: The Flight of the Crook-Taloned Birds II’, The New Yorker 38 (15 December 1962), 120.Google Scholar
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    Ved Mehta, Fly and the Fly-Bottle (1963), p. 200.Google Scholar
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    William A. Speck, ‘Herbert Butterfield on the Christian and Historical Study’, FH 4 (1971), 64Google Scholar
  9. J. W. Montgomery and James R. Moore, ‘The Speck in Butterfield’s Eye: A Reply to William A. Speck’, FH 4 (1971), 74–6Google Scholar
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    See W. A. Speck, ‘Herbert Butterfield and the Legacy of a Christian Historian’, in A Christian View of History? ed. George Marsden and Frank Roberts (1975), p. 105; cf. HHR, p. 136.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Keith C. Sewell 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith C. Sewell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryDordt CollegeUSA

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