History is most commonly described as the study of the past, but I see it as also being the active pursuit of truth in both the past and the present. Historians dedicate their lives to uncovering the mysteries of the past and revealing how these former events are crucial to the understanding of current events, for example, the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Eric Crouse to discuss his upcoming winter course on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the importance of studying history. Dr. Crouse is a Professor of History at Tyndale University College and specializes in American politics and economic theory.
History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict is an excellent course for all students to take. It will survey the development of the conflict from the re-birth of Israel in 1948 to the dramatic events of recent years involving Palestinians. The lectures will look at the work of both Israeli and Arab historians, providing a holistic examination of this conflict. One key theme of the course will be the survival of the nation Israel. In addition, students will be able to identify major interpretations of the conflict, assess how technology influenced economic and military outcomes and have a better understanding of the contrast between the Arab and Israeli cultures. The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the dominating issues of 21st century society; it is important for anyone wishing to engage in culture to understand the truth behind this complex issue.
Dr. Crouse explains that through the study of history, students discover who they are. They see the historical application of life and learn about what group of people they represent. Studying history tells us why we live the way that we do. The discipline also provides practical skills that are invaluable assets for jobs across the disciplines. For example, Connor Macdonald [BA History 2015], who is currently pursuing graduate studies in Public Policy, notes that because the study of history teaches how to think critically and write proficiently, it prepares you for a great career. Along with being practical, the study of history is relevant; only through studying the past can one understand the present. The Arab-Israeli Conflict is an excellent example of this. An examination of historical land claims and past conflicts helps us understand the current events in the Middle East. As a History major, I have learned how events, ideals, and people influenced, and still influence, our world today, and I have learned how I can have an influence as well.
History is more than a bland exercise in memorizing dates and facts. It is the active pursuit of truth in every situation, both past and present.
BA Honours History Major
Senior Student Admissions Representative & President of Tyndale’s Social Justice Group