Dr. William Van Arragon

Associate Professor, History; Dean of Arts

P: 780-465-8374
  • PhD, Indiana University, 2005
  • MA, Indiana University, 1997
  • BA, Calvin College, 1992


Dr. William Van Arragon came to King’s in 2007 and is Associate Professor of History. He received his PhD from Indiana University in 2005. He teaches classes on topics in Environmental, Canadian, and American history, as well as the history of Global Christianity, and has worked with many students on independent research and oral history projects.

Research Interests

Research and teaching interests in three main areas: American colonial history, Canadian environmental history, and historiography and theory. 

  • Working on a book entitled Cotton Mather in American Cultural Memory.
  • Working on various projects about Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley and its parks system.
  • Working with King’s colleagues Caroline Lieffers and Mark Sandle on a possible book on the subject of history and hope.

Selected Publications

Re-Forming History (Cascade Books, 2019); co-authored with Mark Sandle.

“Learning to Love Cotton Mather,” in The Bulletin of the Congregational Library and Archives, second series, 13 (2018): 14-21.

“Toward a Practice of Christian Antihistory:  Writing the Antihistory of Soviet Communism,” (co-authored with Mark Sandle), Fides et Historia 46: 2 (Summer/Fall 2014): 85-99.

“Walking Humbly, Listening Compassionately and Living Justly: A Way Forward in our Relations with Aboriginal Peoples in Canada,” (co-authored with David Long), in Matthew Etherington, ed., Foundations of Education: A Christian Vision.  Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2014.

“The Glorious Translation of an American Elijah: Mourning Cotton Mather in 1728,” in Cotton Mather and Biblia Americana: America’s First Bible Commentary. Reiner Smolinski and Jan Stievermann, eds.  Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.  [Reprinted, Grand Rapids:  Baker Academic, 2011.]

 “Becoming Congregationalist: Historical Memory, Denominational Identity, and the Founding of the Congregational Library.”  Bulletin of the Congregational Library 5: 3 (Winter 2009), pp. 4-13.

 “People of Hope, People of Memory: Theologies of Memory and the Christian Historian,” Fides et Historia 37:2 (Summer 2005); 38:1 (Spring 2006), 41-49.

Selected Presentations

“Contested Urban Knowledge and Edmonton’s “Ribbon of Green”: Frederick G. Todd’s 1907 Plan and the River Valley Parks System in Historical Perspective.”  Histories of Urban Knowledge (27-28 September 2019), University of Montreal, Quebec.

“History that Heals: Reflections on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission from a Settler Historian.”  Conference on Faith and History Biennial Meeting (4-6 October 2018), Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“Toward the ‘Ribbon of Green’:  Frederick G. Todd’s 1907 Plan and the Creation of Edmonton’s River Valley Parks System,” Under Western Skies 2016: Water—Events, Trends, Analysis, Mount Royal University (28 September 2016).  Calgary, AB.

 “A Time for Everything: Reflections at the Intersection of History and Theology,” (with Mark Sandle).  Plenary Session, American Society of Church History, Spring Meeting (9 April 2016).  Edmonton, AB.

“Between the City and the River: Mapping the Histories of Edmonton’s River Valley” Co-authored with Maureen Engel and Shannon Stunden Bower.  Edmonton and District Historical Society Speaker Series (26 February 2016).  Edmonton, AB.