On March 11, 2016, Houghton associate professor of religion Dr. Kristina LaCelle-Peterson was an invited panelist during a session at the 51st Wesleyan Theological Society conference at Point Loma Nazarene University. The session, entitled “Forty Years of ‘Discovering an Evangelical Heritage,’ 19762016,” celebrated the 40th anniversary and significance of Donald Dayton’s book “Discovering an Evangelical Heritage.”
Through presenting several 19th-century American evangelicals whose lives and movements demonstrated the intersection between revivalism and social justice, Dayton’s innovative book seeks to reveal that engaging in social justice is a substantial part of the heritage of evangelicalism. The book was rereleased in 2014 under the title “Rediscovering an Evangelical Heritage: A Tradition and Trajectory of Integrating Piety and Justice.”
LaCelle-Peterson said, “As some conservative Protestants endeavor to engage in efforts to end gross injustice (think human trafficking, for instance) it is fantastic to know that our forbearers provided great examples for us. The people and movements described in this book have inspired my own attempts to work on issues of justice through the lens of faith.”
LaCelle-Peterson was invited to be on the panel by Dr. Doug Strong from the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, who wrote the introduction for the rereleased book. Other panelists included individuals from Asbury Seminary and the Nehemiah Institute for Christian Studies.
“Dr. Strong asked me to be on the panel because the topic of the book—the intersection of passionate connection to God and radical concern for the oppressed in the 19th and early 20th centuries—is at the heart of my research interests as well as his own. I greatly enjoyed being on the panel, both because I learned things from the other panelists and because the audience was very engaged.”
The Wesleyan Theological Society seeks to encourage the exchange of ideas among Wesleyan-Holiness theologians; acts as a source of ideas and essays for Christian Holiness Partnership seminars; stimulates scholarship among younger theologians, pastors and inquiring laity; and publishes a scholarly journal twice a year. The annual conference intends to give members an opportunity to share Wesleyan scholarship in the areas of biblical studies, missions, philosophy, pastoral theology, psychology, cultural studies and systematic theology, among other topics.