Reformed-Catholic dialogue will be the focus of the Saint Benedict Forum’s Catholic Speaker Series on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The event will feature three scholars reflecting on themes explored in the book “What Does It Mean to Be Catholic?,” written by Dr. Jack Mulder of the Hope College philosophy faculty and published in July 2015 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Mulder, who is a professor of philosophy and chairperson of the department, was raised a Protestant and converted to Catholicism shortly before joining the Hope faculty in 2004.  He wrote the book because during his faith journey he had the same question that the title asks, and he hoped to help provide answers to others, whether they are Catholic or not.  His goal has been to practice robust ecumenism:  the idea that different Christian groups should share the distinctive gifts of their own traditions as they walk together toward full Christian unity.

“The purpose of this book is to describe and explain a Catholic worldview to a contemporary audience,” he said.  “My purpose is not to convert the reader, but I do want lay Catholics and especially other Christians to consider what a coherent Catholic faith could look like.”

“I hope that it leaves people to be in a better position to have a conversation about the distinctive claims of the Catholic Church,” he said.

Two Reformed scholars—Dr. Han-Iuen Kantzer Komline, assistant professor of church history and theology at Western Theological Seminary, and Dr. Lynn Japinga, professor of religion at Hope—will offer responses to the book.  Mulder, who is a professor of philosophy and chairperson of the department, will discuss his book and respond to the responses, and will also be available to sign copies.

The Saint Benedict Forum is an outreach of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, with which the college’s Campus Ministries program has a covenantal partnership. The Jan. 28 event is co-sponsored by the Philosophy and Religion Departments, Campus Ministries, Center for Ministry Studies, Lilly Group on Robust Ecumenism, the Office of the Provost and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.  More information about the forum is available here.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.