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.”