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The Host and the Idea

My name is Mark Dixon, and I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the History and Ecumenics department at Princeton Theological Seminary.

This podcast has an imperfect title. “Church History Chat” is catchy, but might suggest to some that this is a denominational or confessional undertaking. It is not. Instead, you will hear conversations with professional scholars who employ a variety of critical methods to study the history of Christianity in all its eras. My first Church History professor taught me (in the tradition of Gerhard Ebeling) that church history is “the history of the exposition of Scripture.” While there is still merit in that definition, and while it might be stretched to cover a good deal of the work done in this field, the academic study of the history of Christianity has grown into a more expansive, complex, and interdisciplinary subject than Ebeling’s formulation can capture.

I had two main goals in mind when I began developing this podcast: 1) to provide an opportunity for highly trained scholars to share their research and insights with a broader audience, and 2) to treat myself (and others) to conversations with interesting, motivated, and curious people. I wanted to “introduce” these scholars to their reading audience in a less formal way, and likewise introduce readers to authors they might not normally seek out because of disciplinary silos.