Hope College will mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with multiple presentations in the spring and fall that will explore ways that the Reformation has shaped the world throughout history as well as its significance for Holland.

Organized or coordinated through the college’s Presidential Colloquium series, the Hope events are presented within the theme “The Reformation and the Making of the Modern World.”  Preceded by a Reformation-themed concert on campus on March 29 by the Grand Rapids Symphony, the presentations in the spring will take place between March 30 and April 10, and in the fall will take place through October, the month of the Reformation’s anniversary.  The Protestant Reformation was sparked when Martin Luther delivered his 95 theses to the Archbishop of Mainz on Oct. 31, 1517.

The Grand Rapids Symphony will present “A Reformation Celebration” on Wednesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the college’s Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.  The program will feature Mendelssohn’s “Reformation Symphony,” as well as works by Telemann, Buxtehude, Schutz, and J.S. Bach.  Tickets for the concert are $30 for orchestra and mezzanine seating and $20 for balcony seating, and may be ordered via grsymphony.org or (616) 454-9451.

The college’s Presidential Colloquium series will begin featuring Hope’s events with the address “Why the Reformation Still Matters in 2017” by Dr. Brad Gregory on Thursday, March 30, at 4:30 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.  Gregory is professor of history and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame. The public is invited, and admission is free.

The college’s annual Danforth Lecture will present the address “Where Are the Nailprints? Luther’s Road to Reformation” by Dr. Timothy George on Thursday, April 6, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.  George is the dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and professor of history and doctrine.  The public is invited, and admission is free.

The Presidential Colloquium series will present the address “Dangerous Choices: Women, Clerics and Marriage in the German Reformation” by Dr. Marjorie Elizabeth (Beth) Plummer on Monday, April 10, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.  Plummer is a professor in the History Department at Western Kentucky University.  The public is invited, and admission is free.

The fall-semester events have not been finalized, but are anticipated to include panel discussions exploring the experience of local communities and residents.

The Presidential Colloquium, initiated by President John C. Knapp, is a recurring lecture series that brings prominent thinkers to Hope to share their insights on the academy, leadership and global civic engagement.  Speakers since the series debuted in September 2013 have included Dr. Richard Carwardine, who is an internationally recognized expert on Abraham Lincoln and president of Corpus Christi College of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom; Professor H. Russel Botman, rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University; Scott Aughenbaugh, who is a deputy director of Strategic Futures at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); and David Brooks, New York Times columnist and best-selling author.

More information the Reformation-themed presentations is available online.  Details regarding the fall events will be posted nearer the beginning of the college’s fall semester.

The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is located at 221 Columbia Ave., between Ninth and 10th streets.  Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.