California matters, both as a place and as an idea. What famed historian Kevin Starr has called "the California Dream" is a vital part of American self-understanding. Just as America was meant to be a place of renewal, even redemption, for Europe, so too California was intended as a place of renewal for America. Therefore, California--place and idea--provides a fertile ground for scholars to think deeply about what it means to articulate "the promise of American life."
This book follows in the train of George Marsden's classic The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship--believing that people of faith have a contribution to make to scholarship--and of Jay Green's more recent book, Christian Historiography: Five Rival Views--believing that scholars of faith should engage in moral inquiry. In this book, eight authors inquire into the moral questions that emerge from studying California.