/ President's Office

Presidential Colloquium

The Presidential Colloquium, initiated by President John Knapp, is a recurring lecture series that brings prominent thinkers to Hope to share their insights on the academy, leadership and global civic engagement.

The Reformation and the Making of the Modern World

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, and sparked the Protestant Reformation. Now, 500 years later, we have an opportunity to reflect on the broader influence of the Reformation over time: How did it influence the Enlightenment? Did it sow some of the seeds of modernity? How is our world different because of it?

Join us as we mark the anniversary of the Reformation with a yearlong series of lectures, panel discussions and music that explore just some of the ways the Reformation has shaped the world throughout history and in our own time and place.

Fall 2017

Rev. Dr. Dennis Voskuil ‘Here I Stand’: A Conversation with Martin Luther Tuesday, October 31, 4:30 p.m. Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall

Spring 2017

Grand Rapids Symphony The Reformation Concert Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. Concert Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts
Brad Gregory Why the Reformation Still Matters in 2017 Thursday, March 30, 4:30 p.m. Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall
Timothy George
(Danforth Lecture)
Where Are the Nailprints? Luther’s Road to Reformation Thursday, April 6, 4 p.m. Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall
Marjorie Elizabeth (Beth) Plummer Dangerous Choices: Women, Clerics, and Marriage in the German Reformation Monday, April 10, 4 p.m. Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall

Speaker Bios

Brad Gregory

Brad S. Gregory, Ph.D., is professor of history and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 2003, and where he is also the director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. From 1996–2003 he taught at Stanford University, where he received early tenure in 2001. He specializes in the history of Christianity in Europe during the Reformation era and on the long-term influence of the Reformation era on the modern world. He has given invited lectures at many of the most prestigious universities in North America, as well as in England, Scotland, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Israel, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Before teaching at Stanford, he earned his Ph.D. in history at Princeton University and was a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows; he also has two degrees in philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. His first book, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Harvard, 1999) received six book awards. Professor Gregory was the recipient of two teaching awards at Stanford and has received three more at Notre Dame. In 2005, he was named the inaugural winner of the first annual Hiett Prize in the Humanities, a $50,000 award from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture given to the outstanding mid-career humanities scholar in the United States. His most recent book is entitled The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Belknap, 2012), which received two book awards. His forthcoming book is titled Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts that Continue to Shape Our World (Harper, 2017).  

Timothy George

Timothy George, Th.D., is the Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and Professor of History and Doctrine

Dr. George is a life advisory trustee of Wheaton College, is active in Evangelical–Roman Catholic Church dialogue, and has chaired the Doctrine and Christian Unity Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. He serves as senior theological advisor for Christianity Today, and is on the editorial advisory board of First Things. George is the general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, a 28-volume series of sixteenth-century exegetical comment. A prolific author, he has written more than 20 books and regularly contributes to scholarly journals. His recent books include Reading Scripture with the Reformers, The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking: A Student's Guide (with David Dockery), Our Sufficiency Is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor (with James Earl Massey and Robert Smith, Jr.), and Amazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response. His Theology of the Reformers (25th Anniversary ed., 2013) is the standard textbook on Reformation theology in many schools and seminaries and has been translated into multiple languages. An ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Convention, George has served churches in Georgia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Alabama. He and his wife, Denise, have two adult children.

Marjorie Elizabeth (Beth) Plummer

Beth PlummerMarjorie Elizabeth (Beth) Plummer is Professor of History Department at Western Kentucky University. She specializes in the history of the impact of the early reform movement in Germany on family and gender roles and the changing legal definitions of social norms and religious identity in Early Modern Germany. Her publications include From Priest’s Whore to Pastor’s Wife: Clerical Marriage and the Process of Reform in the Early German Reformation (2012), which won the 2013 SCSC Gerald Strauss Book Prize. She is also co-editor of Ideas and Cultural Margins in Early Modern Germany: Essays in Honor of H.C. Erik Midelfort (2009) and Archeologies of Confession: Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017 (2017). She has written articles on monastic marriage, concubinage, bigamy, historical memory and imprisoned early reformers, the Electors of Saxony and Martin Luther, and Protestant nuns. Currently a Solmsen Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, she is working on Building Walls and Sharing Space: The Protestant Nun, Religious Diversity and Pluriconfessional Convents in the Holy Roman Empire, 1520–1750, a book-length study on the experience of nuns during long Reformation.