posted November 6, 2012

Allan Boesak and Curtiss DeYoung to Discuss “Radical Reconciliation”

The Rev. Dr. Allan Boesak and Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung will present the address “Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Church Quietism” on Friday, Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. at Hope College in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Boesak is recognized for his leadership role in the anti-apartheid freedom struggle in South Africa, and DeYoung is a professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn.  They are co-authors of the book “Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Church Quietism,” published earlier this year by Orbis Books.

Boesak will also be speaking during the college’s chapel service on Friday, Nov. 9, at 10:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.  Admission to the service is free and the public is invited, but seating is typically limited.

Boesak previously spoke at Hope on Feb. 28, 1990, delivering the opening keynote address “South Africa Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Facing the Challenges of Our Times” for the annual Critical Issues Symposium, during which he received an honorary degree (doctorate of divinity) from the college.  The symposium that year explored “The Quest for Justice: Christian Voices.”

During the anti-apartheid freedom struggle in South Africa, Boesak and Archbishop Desmond Tutu led the United Democratic Front (UDF)–the equivalent to the civil rights movement in the United States. Bringing together more than 700 organizations from all communities, the UDF became the first genuinely non-racial movement and the main force behind the anti-apartheid activities in the country during the decisive decade of the 1980s.

Boesak is a pastor in the Uniting Reformed Church and has served the church in many local, national, and international posts including the South African Council of Churches. At 36 years of age he was elected the president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; the youngest ever, and the first African and person from the developing world to hold that position.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called Boesak the most powerful orator ever produced by South Africa. Boesak is the author or editor of nearly 20 books.

DeYoung, who is an ordained minister in the Church of God, headquartered in Anderson, Ind., has spent his life working both nationally and internationally to develop networks for reconciliation, peace, justice and human rights.  He has traveled to South Africa on nine occasions speaking on reconciliation and the multiculturalism of the Bible.

Prior to his current position at Bethel University, he served for 17 years in urban multicultural settings in Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minn., as the president of the Twin Cities Urban Reconciliation Network (TURN), the executive director of the City Gate Project, and the senior pastor at a multiracial congregation.  He also served congregations in Washington, D.C, and New York City, and worked at the Covenant House Times Square shelter for homeless and runaway youth in New York City.

DeYoung is an author, co-author or editor of more than a dozen books on the topic of reconciliation and social justice, including, in addition to “Radical Reconciliation,” “United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race” and “Reconciliation: Our Greatest Challenge --Our Only Hope.”  He has led retreats for Hope students, faculty and staff on the theme of reconciliation, and also spoke during a Hope chapel service in March.

The Friday-afternoon presentation is among multiple events scheduled across the school year for additional discussion of themes explored in this year’s Critical Issues Symposium, which was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 25-26, and examined “Reconciliation: Hope in a Divided World.”  The symposium featured a variety of keynote addresses, focus sessions and department-sponsored sessions.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.  Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.