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This year com­mem­o­rates the 500th anniversary of the Ref­or­mation. | Wiki­media Commons

This fall marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Ref­or­mation, and an inter­de­nom­i­na­tional group of faculty is pro­viding a lecture series to com­mem­orate the event and to educate stu­dents on the key ideas and events that changed Europe forever.

“Regardless of whether you are Protestant, Catholic, or even a non-Christian, I think everyone on campus should care and want to learn about the argu­ments that birthed the Ref­or­mation,” Clifford Humphrey, a graduate student and member of the orga­nizing com­mittee, said, “simply because it has played such an important role in the devel­opment and char­acter of Western culture gen­erally and America specif­i­cally.”

Assistant Pro­fessor of The­ology Jordan Wales will present the first lecture, “Grace and the Spir­itual Life Before Luther,” 4 p.m. Monday in Phillips Audi­torium, fol­lowed by “Did Luther Under­stand Grace?” by Ryan Reeves, asso­ciate pro­fessor of his­torical the­ology at Gordon-Conwell The­o­logical Sem­inary.

Titled “This Far By Faith: The Ref­or­mation at 500,” the series is a group effort — with the President’s office, two aca­demic depart­ments, and Catholic Society and Inter­Varsity involved in spon­soring and orga­nizing the event.

Running through December, the three-part series covers major themes of the Ref­or­mation: jus­ti­fi­cation and sal­vation, Christian piety and the Sacra­ments, and Scripture and ecclesial authority.

“We wanted to con­struct a series that would be attractive to all, and so we will hear from both Protestant and Catholic voices,” Chaplain Adam Rick said in an email. “This is not about winning con­verts to any one side or any one group patting itself on the back, but rather a critical appraisal of some key points of dif­ference between Protes­tants and Catholics from the six­teenth century per­spective.”