Hope College Sociologists Co-Edit Book
Posted December 10, 2001
HOLLAND -- Hope College sociology professors
Donald Luidens and Roger Nemeth have co-edited a recently
published book, "Reformed Encounters with Modernity:
Perspectives from Three Continents" (Media-Com,
Stellenbosch, South Africa).
Other co-editors include scholars from the
University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, the Free
University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands and Calvin
College, reflecting the "three continents" which are the
focus of the study.
The articles in the volume consider the many ways
in which Reformed communities have responded to the changes
that accompany the modernizing of society. According to
Luidens and Nemeth, urbanization, mass communication,
globalization and a loss of traditional identities have gone
hand in hand with the economic changes of modern society.
They note that the church and people of faith have had to
respond to these challenges, and it is the responses that
are the focus of "Reformed Encounters."
Among the contributing authors are several pastors
and researchers from the countries surrounding South Africa.
Their unique perspectives, from countries experiencing the
early stages of modernization, provide a valuable
counterpoint to articles written by European and American
scholars, Luidens and Nemeth believe. Along with their
editorial role, Nemeth and Luidens contributed an article to
the volume on social and demographic changes in the Reformed
Church in America since 1920.
Hope faculty members Lynn Japinga and Robert
Swierenga have also written articles, on the Reformed Church
and Christian Reformed Church respectively, in "Reformed
Encounters." The articles were presented in 2000 at a
conference held at the University of Stellenbosch, during
which the authors were able to refine their interpretations
of the changes they had encountered.
"Reformed Encounters" is the third in a series of
studies published by the International Society for the Study
of Reformed Communities, co-founded by Luidens, Nemeth, and
their colleagues. The ISSRC brings together academics from
around the globe who are conducting research on various
groups related to the Reformed branches of Protestant
Christianity. Earlier volumes, "Rethinking Secularization"
and "Reformed Vitality" (both co-edited by Luidens and
published by the University Press of America), assessed the
role that secularization has played in the life of Reformed
churches and the ways in which religious communities have
responded creatively to those challenges.
Luidens has been a faculty member at Hope College
since 1977. After completing his undergraduate degree at
Hope, he did graduate work at Princeton Seminary and Rutgers
Nemeth has been a member of the Hope faculty since
1983. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.