2018 Kuyper Conference Forum Brief
Published by Calvin Seminary
Last spring, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary hosted the annual Kuyper Conference, which began in 1998 at Princeton Theological Seminary. The conference focused on neocalvinist public theology, which is the stream of the Reformed tradition associated with Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), the Dutch theologian, pastor, journalist, and politician. The conference, which ran from April 30-May 1, included participants and attendees from around the globe, and the plenary sessions focused on the theme, “The Future of African Public Theology.” The conference also featured the presentation of the annual Kuyper Prize, which was awarded this year to Daniel Bourdanné, the general secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). Past winners of the prize include Richard Mouw, Alvin Plantinga, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. Bourdanné’s work as an evangelist, theologian, scientist, administrator, and publisher marked him as a figure making outstanding and diverse contributions in the encounter between the Gospel in Francophone Africa and throughout the world.
The conference also featured a lecture by Emmanuel Katongole of Notre Dame, who focused on the challenges and opportunities facing African Christianity today. Nicholas Wolterstorff discussed his awakening to the problem of apartheid in South Africa with James Bratt – an exposure which helped sharpen his sense of calling to address issues of public justice. The conference concluded with a plenary lecture by Calvin Seminary alumna Anne Zaki, who works at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. Professor Zaki focused on the particular difficulties facing Christian witness throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The 2019 Kuyper Conference will again convene at the Prince Conference Center on the campus of Calvin College from April 23-25, 2019. More information about last year’s conference, including video footage of the plenary sessions and select panel discussions, as well as next year’s conference, is available at: calvin.edu/events/kuyper-conference/
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