This conference is organized against the backdrop of tectonic shifts in world-wide Christianity. Churches and related institutions in the global South are thriving and seeing unprecedented growth while in the Western world numbers of active church members are in decline and Christian organizations see themselves confronted with the eroding effects of secularization. These shifts have impacted on strands of Christian thought that are known as reformational philosophy or philosophy in the reformed tradition, with Herman Dooyeweerd and Dirk H.Th. Vollenhoven as important initiators. Some of the traditional strongholds of this philosophical tradition have lost their position in academia. At the same time, new, sometimes private initiatives were taken in the past decades, for instance in the UK (Faraday Institute, Cambridge; Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion; SCIO – Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford), the Netherlands (Abraham Kuyper Center, VU; the Neo-Calvinism Research Institute, Kampen; Forum-C, Amersfoort) and the USA (Center for Public Justice, Washington DC; Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, University of Notre Dame), offering platforms for discussion and opportunities for funding, trainee- and scholarship. Many of these initiatives were successful in terms of academic standing and public outreach. In the meantime, even more students and young scholars in the global South are standing up and long for a fresh and deeper understanding of the reformed tradition and its meaning for philosophy and theology. This is the moment to answer the need of these students and young scholars by rethinking the mission of the Reformational philosophical tradition and by mapping the challenges and tasks that lie ahead.
The Association for Reformational Philosophy, the All of Life Redeemed (AoLR) platform, and the Abraham Kuyper Center organize, therefore, an international conference which has the aim to make the rich resources of the Reformational movement more widely available, especially for the new audiences in the global South. We also aim at creating a context for dialogue between Reformational philosophers and representatives of other streams of thought within the broader Christian tradition.
More specifically, we want to:
(1) exhibit what a century of philosophical thinking in the Reformed tradition has delivered, especially with respect to the challenges of our age (sustainability; ethics of technology; food production and consumption; professionalism and vocation; international relations, to mention a few)
(2) identify and explore new ways to address the unresolved issues
(3) encourage young students, scholars and professionals to engage with philosophical thinking in the Reformed tradition
(4) offer a platform for students, young scholars and professionals (especially in the South) to present their initial steps in the field.
The event will celebrate the 16th anniversary of the All of Life Redeemed (AoLR) platform. It will also be the 10th in the series of 5-yearly international conferences of the Association for Reformational Philosophy.
As for so many scholars, the global COVID-19 pandemic has become an occasion to explore new ways of connecting, communicating, and learning. The conference will, therefore, be largely online with several hybrid hubs in different countries.
The program involves a combination of state-of-the-art keynote lectures, panels on focused themes, and workshops in which junior scholars can present their work and be mentored by senior scholars in their field. We will also create ample digital space for informal gatherings.
Please find the preliminary program here. Keynote speakers:
Craig Bartholomew, Kirby Laing Center for Public Theology, Cambridge (UK)
René van Woudenberg, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (NL)
Dolores G. Morris, Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida (USA)
Registration & donation
Register here through eventbrite. There is no registration fee. We welcome donations to cover the costs of organizing the online conference. Please follow this link if you want to support us financially and mention “RPC2021” when donating.
Find more information about the conference on the website of the Association for Reformational Philosophy.
Christine Boshuijzen-van Burken (chair) (Australia)
Romel Regalado Bagares (Philippines)
Lay Hendra Wijaya (Indonesia)
Gerrit Glas (The Netherlands)
Rik Peels (The Netherlands)
Rob Joustra (Canada)
John Choi (Korea)
Gerrit Glas (The Netherlands)
Renée van Riessen (The Netherlands)
Andrew Basden (United Kingdom)
Jim Skillen (USA)
Roelien Goede (South Africa)
Henk Geertsema (The Netherlands)