Thursday, May 4, 2017
Spring Symposium at Gordon College is an annual tradition!
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Theme / Description
The Church's One Foundation: United as One Body or By Schism Rent Asunder?
2017 marks the 500 years since Martin Luther published his 95 theses, or complaints, against the Roman Catholic church and launched the Protestant Reformation, a momentous religious revolution that shaped the church—and the world—in profound and innumerable ways. It left the church broken and divided, a wound from which it has never recovered. The theological divisions wrought by the Reformation led to a cycle of violence and destruction, the echoes of which still can be heard today. Yet the Reformation also transformed millions of people’s understanding of their relationship with God, as Luther, Calvin and other Reformation thinkers sought to re-emphasize the centrality of God’s free grace and the primary authority of the Scriptures in the life of the Church and each Christian.
Symposium 2017 offers an opportunity to explore anew the legacy of the Reformation. Affirming the truth that thinking deeply about the past allows us to better understand the present, we will explore and re-explore the roots of Reformation divisions, focusing not only on theological controversies, but also their implications in fields as varied as politics, art and biology. Noting also how the Reformation required Christians and others to come to terms with the challenges and possibilities of living alongside people who hold radically different answers to vital questions, Symposium 2017 will explore ways that we might learn from the Reformation’s experience.
As in previous years, students, faculty and staff engage each other in discussions on Symposium day. Students may present academic papers, creative texts or offer roundtable discussions, debates, interviews, music, drama and art displays.
Symposium 2017 will conclude with Prof. Tal Howard’s keynote address: “500 Years of Protestantism, 1517–2017: Now What?” Prof. Howard, who now holds the chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University, was, for many years, a well-loved professor of history at Gordon, and the former director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry.
Some suggested lines of inquiry:
The purpose of Gordon College Symposium is to allow students, faculty and staff to engage in conversation about a major contemporary or perennial issue toward the goal of learning from one another. The events of Symposium day will include panel discussions, exhibits, debates, poetry readings, presentations, performances and outside festivities at various campus locations.
"500 Years of Protestantism, 1517–2017: Now What?
This year's keynote address will be given by Tal Howard, Professor of Humanities and History and
Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Ken Olsen Science Center
4:00 p.m. Reception, Loggia
4:30 p.m. Lecture, Chairman's Room