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 April 23-25, 2019

Calvin University and Seminary
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Calvin University and Seminary will host the 2019 Kuyper Conference at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin University campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). The overall theme for the conference and plenary sessions is Christ and Community.

The conference theme is intended to foster conversations and reflection related to the significance of the gospel for communities and social life. Christ came to redeem individual people as well as to bring reconciliation the world. As Abraham Kuyper once wrote, the “child of God is something other than an isolated individual limited to himself. This individual is also part of a community, member of a body, participant in a group identity, enclosed within an organism.”

This world is fallen, with brokenness shown by individualism, collectivism, materialism, scientism, racism, prejudice, and many more manifestations of sin. This world is also being redeemed by Christ and that work impacts communities in numerous ways. To enhance our conversation, papers are invited that address the relationship and significance of Christ and the gospel for communities and social life, especially as related to broad themes including: culture and cultural engagement, community and social development, pluralism, nationalism/internationalism, globalization, technology and social media, ecclesiology, and civil society. Kuyper distinguished between special and common grace, and in the context of his doctrine of sphere sovereignty also championed a vision of social diversity and pluriformity. We encourage submissions and sessions that explore definitions and experiences of different types of communities and their redemptive and reconciling possibilities.

This conference is part of a multi-year series of conferences that have promoted a broad exploration, engagement, and development of the legacy of the Dutch Reformed theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), and the tradition he helped form (commonly known as “neocalvinism”), for theology and public life today across the globe. At this meeting we will focus particularly on the relevance of Kuyper’s thinking about the significance of the Christian faith for community and social life. In addition to the advancement of scholarship, this conference aims to foster personal and professional networks of scholars, pastors, ministry professionals, civic leaders, and practitioners with interests in Kuyper and neocalvinism.

Proposals for concurrent sessions are also welcome on any topics that engage with aspects of the life and work of Abraham Kuyper, neocalvinism more broadly, and public theology and public life. Papers from historical as well as interdisciplinary, ecumenical, critical, practical, missional, pastoral, and constructive perspectives are welcome. Proposals for short paper sessions (3-4 presenters), roundtables (3-5 discussants), and from graduate students are especially encouraged.

One-page proposals should include a proposed paper title or roundtable theme, a brief description of the focus of the presentation (one to three paragraphs), the presenter’s institutional affiliation and contact information, including email address. Proposals received after the February 15 deadline will be considered on a space-available basis. The Kuyper Conference is also being held this year in proximity with the Henry Institute Symposium on Religion and Public Life, and more information about that conference (April 25-27, 2019) is available here: https://calvin.edu/centers-institutes/henry-institute/programs/symposium/

Individual paper and/or complete session proposals, as well as questions about the conference, may be sent to:

Dr. Jordan J. Ballor
Kuyper Conference Director