The truthful historian

St. Gregory [of Tours] is an historian; but this does not mean a mere chronicler of bare facts, or the mythical ‘objective observer’ of so much modern scholarship who looks a things with the ‘cold scrutiny’ of the ‘remote observer.’ He had a point of view; he was always seeking a pattern in history; he had constantly before him what the modern scientist would call a ‘model’ into which he fitted the historical facts which he collected. In actual fact, all scientists and scholars act in this way, and any one who denies it only deceives himself and admits in effect that his ‘model’ of reality, his basis for interpreting facts, is unconscious, and therefore is much more capable of distorting reality than is the ‘model’ of a scholar who knows what his own basic beliefs and presuppositions are.
Fr. Seraphim (Rose)


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