The Department of History at Hope College will present “Writing Global History through Family History: A Conversation with Don Luidens, Author of ‘Seeds of Hope, Seeds of Hate: A Love Story Begins’” on Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center conference room.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Luidens’ recently published monograph tells both a global story and a personal one. In relating the adventures of his missionary parents, the Rev. Edwin and Ruth (Stegenga) Luidens, he also illuminates the ways World War II and the collapse of the British Empire shaped the Middle East. Dr. Janis Gibbs, an associate professor of history who teaches the department’s upper-level Modern Middle East class, will lead a discussion with Luidens about how he sees the relationship between his family’s story and global history.

Luidens is a professor emeritus of sociology at Hope, where he taught from 1977 until retiring in 2014.  Since retiring, he has continued his research and writing as a visiting research fellow and senior research fellow with the college’s A.C. Van Raalte Institute, which published “Seeds of Hope, Seeds of Hate: A Love Story (Begins)” this summer through its Van Raalte Press.

The monograph is based on letters and articles written by his parents and focuses on the years 1943-46, during which time his parents courted; were married; and traveled to Basrah, Iraq, to begin their missionary service.  It is the forerunner of a larger book Luidens is writing that will cover the first decade of their time in the mission field.  He began working on the project shortly before retirement, having inherited the materials several years previously following the deaths of his parents (Edwin died in 1989, and Ruth in 1977).

More information about the book is available online

“Seeds of Hope, Seeds of Hate: A Love Story (Begins)” is available for $10 through the college’s Hope-Geneva Bookstore.  The bookstore is located on the ground level of the DeWitt Center, 141 E. 12th St., and can be called at 800-946-4673 or 616-395-7833.  Additional ordering information may be obtained by e-mailing the Hope-Geneva Bookstore at

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.