Discovery and Challenge

History provides a framework for understanding ourselves, our world and our times. Onto this broad frame we attach stories of people, cultures and events. This structure and its stories provide us with analogies to help us form meaning, understanding and wisdom. History gives us access to those who have lived before us — and we discover that we are not alone. Those who have lived before us challenge us to think and rethink our worldview.

What have you learned about history?

History is much more than a litany of names and dates. It’s about story — your story, my story and the stories of those who have lived before us. Whose story have you learned? Have your history texbooks contained more than the stories of dead, white, wealthy, male presidents and generals? Did your high school history teachers invite you to think about American history through the eyes of Native Americans, African Americans, women and Hispanic Americans?

Did Columbus discover America? If so, when was it lost? Others lived in this land, perhaps for millennia. What could we learn about their worldviews? What were the consequences of Spanish occupation and the Western worldview stamped so decisively on the Americas? What happened to the Tainos and Arawaks of the Caribbean islands? Columbus’ own journal and that of Spanish Priest Bertolomé de las Casas reveal the catastrophic results.

Do you think of the United States as a nation among nations? Are you aware of the contributions of Arab scholars to medicine, science and astronomy? While Western Europeans prayed to the bones of saints for healing, Eastern scholars discovered that disease spread by pathogens. While Western European doctors bled patients to promote healing, Eastern doctors invented hospitals, quarantined patients, and performed eye surgery to remove cataracts. Did you know we can thank Indian mathematicians for the Pythagorean theorem and the zero? We can thank the Chinese for paper, the compass and the rudder. We owe so much to so many!

Why study history at Hesston College?

Because here you will

  • learn to think historically
  • rethink the founding myths of the United States
  • consider the American holocaust and its impact on Native nations
  • learn about Andrew Jackson from the perspective of the Trail of Tears
  • consider the legacy of 250 years of African American slavery
  • consider the irony of the Declaration of Independence for enslaved Africans
  • discover the many contributions of scholars of Eastern Arab cultures
  • discover the contributions of Indian scholars on mathematics, astronomy and music
  • read provocative alternative views of history
  • learn to listen for underrepresented voices
  • learn to think critically
  • engage in vigorous classroom discussions
  • thrive in a supportive community of scholars

All this happens here. Join us on this journey of discovery and challenge!

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