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Review of "Why Study History" by John Fea

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In Reflecting on the Importance of the Past: Why Study History? American historian John Fea looks into the reasons why the study of history is important from a civic, moral, and professional point of view and makes the case that it can strengthen and enhance the witness of the Christian church.[1] As a Christian professor at a like-minded school, Why Study History is primarily directed at Christian students and teachers as a means of correcting some of the misconceptions and poor methodology, but contains keen historic insights from which even the non-believing history buff can gain. Fea shows what it means to be a good historian and shows the benefits of following the methodology he lays out. He is highly critical of historians who moralize rather than analyze and educate. He shows the moral benefits of learning to think like a historian and how these positively affect society as a whole. In addition to showing the way in which Christians can benefit themselves and the world around t…

Summary of a Basque Nun's Memoir of her Life as a Conquistador

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“Memoir of a Basque Lieutenant Nun Transvestite in the New World” is a firsthand account of the cultural aspects of the 17th century, Spanish, colonial empire. The Spanish world that Catalina de Erauso is born into is an extremely violent one in which lethal duels are only a matter of a day’s work in the life of a Spanish conquistador. A man’s life depends on how well he can handle a sword and his honor depends on how quick he is to use his sword when insulted or defrauded and it is this world that Erauso has to quickly adapt to when she assumes a man’s life. Law and order are rare commodities in colonial South America and when acquired, are poorly maintained by the Spanish government. Although Erauso strongly identifies with her Basque home region and is shown friendship and favoritism by various Basqueros she comes in contact with in the New World, she nevertheless, comes to feel she is part of a greater Spanish nationalism and accepts and embraces the Spanish identity in which non-…