Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News

Bates Completes Ph.D.

Dec 16, 2005 - Mr. Keith Bates, Instructor of history, became Dr. Keith Bates, Assistant Professor of history, after he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in history at Kansas State University on December 16, 2005. With noted religious historian Dr. Robert Linder serving as his advisor, Bates wrote his dissertation on John R. Rice, a well-known twentieth-century fundamentalist. Using a number of primary sources, including Rice's public writings, Rice's private correspondence, and the institutional records of Bob Jones University, Bates composed the first scholarly biography of this pivotal religious leader. In his study, Bates demonstrated that Rice articulated and fashioned a mainstream form of fundamentalism that called upon fundamentalists to revive their cultural and political activism even as they upheld the principal doctrines of the movement's founders. Bates further concluded that it was Rice who blazed the path of activism that subsequent fundamentalist leaders such as Jerry Falwell used when in the last quarter of the twentieth century they reasserted fundamentalism’s influence within America’s religious and political cultures.

Dr. Keith Bates unveils his new title of "Dr.," which he kept covered on his office door nameplate by a photo until he passed his last requirement for the doctor of philosophy degree on December 16, 2005.