Fortress Press

We Are Who We Think We Were: Christian History and Christian Ethics

We Are Who We Think We Were

Christian History and Christian Ethics

Aaron D. Conley (Author)

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Conley calls into question the outdated historical methodologies in use in Christian social ethics and outlines the consequences stemming from them. By adopting the postmodern post-structuralist position of historian Elizabeth A. Clark, Conley calls ethicists to learn to read for the gaps, silences, and aporias existent in historical texts as well as in the histories represented by them.

The book calls ethicists to a critical self-reflexive historiography.  This self-criticism allows the ability to construct new histories and formulate new ethical norms for the world in which we now live.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781451469318
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 224
  • Emerging Scholars category Christian History
  • Publication Date Aug 1, 2013


"A masterful, energetic exploration of the interface between our construction of historical storylines and our ethics. This book is a welcome plea for locating dialogues across differences at the center of Christian beliefs and practices during the twenty-first century."
Vernon K. Robbins
Emory University

"We Are Who We Think We Were is an ambitious yet carefully constructed critique of mainstream Christian ethicists' uses and abuses of history. Not only does Conley make a persuasive case for why and how historical method matters for Christian ethicists who take seriously the moral demands of justice, the critical self-reflective methodology he develops points to important constructive possibilities for telling our stories in other ways."
Yvonne C. Zimmerman
Methodist Theological School in Ohio

"Conley advocates thoroughgoing deconstruction with self-critical awareness of the power-interests and subliminal loyalties driving the narrative-tradition that shapes our historical self-understanding. He provides improved articulateness for what I intend by a 'historical drama' approach, with continuous repentance in participative community, with realistic attention to self-correcting data from diverse others, and to the struggle for delivering justice. We all need to learn from Conley."
—Glen Stassen
Fuller Theological Seminary