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Conference ‘Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics’

On September 19-20, 2019, Kampen Theological University hosted an international conference dedicated to the publication of Herman Bavinck’s ”Gereformeerde Ethiek” and the appearance of the first volume of the English translation of this work. The program included 14 lectures that later will be published as a book. Prior to this conference, Dr. Craig Bartholomew delivered the annual Bavinck Lecture.

You can find more information below.

The Kampen theologian Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) has been renowned in the Netherlands for his four-volume Gereformeerde Dogmatiek (1st edition 1895-1901) and all over the world since the translation of this book into English and subsequently in several other languages. It is therefore an international event that this year the extensive manuscript of his intended book on Reformed ethics will be available, both in Dutch (complete edition) and English (partial edition). This manuscript, the result of his teaching in Kampen, was found some years ago in Bavinck’s archive. The original Dutch text has been fixed and annotated by Dr. Dirk van Keulen, researcher at The Neo-Calvinism Research Institute, TU Kampen (NRI), and will be published as Gereformeerde ethiek at publishing house KokBoekencentrum.

To celebrate the release of this second largest text in Bavinck’s bibliography, an international two-day conference has been organized by NRI on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September, 2019, at Theological University Kampen. Prior to his conference, theologian Dr. Craig Bartholomew will deliver the annual Bavinck Lecture at this university, dedicated to Bavinck’s ethics, on Wednesday night 18 September, 2019.

The conference theme of Bavinck’s ethics is intended to foster conversations and reflection related to the significance of this new publication in all its aspects.

In view of the publication of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics, our Institute prepared several suggestions for possible research projects.



Wednesday 18 September
19.30 Bavinck Lecture by Craig Bartholomew, Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Cambrigde
Thursday 19 September
9.30 Opening Roel Kuiper, Rector TU Kampen
9.45 Presentation of Gereformeerde ethiek, Dirk van Keulen, TU Kampen
10.00 Keynote 1. Kees van der Kooi, VU Amsterdam, ‘We as his.’ Some remarks on Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics
11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Lecture 2. James Eglinton, New College Edinburgh, Herman Bavinck on Christian ethics in the age of Nietzsche
12.00 Lecture 3. Wim van Vlastuin, VU/HHS Amsterdam, Is Bavinck among the Puritans?
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Keynote 4. John Bolt, Calvin College Grand Rapids, Herman Bavinck as a ‘man of science’ in the Reformed Ethics and presentation of volume 1 of the English edition
14.30 Lecture 5. Gerard den Hertog, TU Apeldoorn, Communion with Christ and Discipleship in Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics
15.00 Coffee break
15.30 Lecture 6. Jessica Joustra, TU Kampen, Conformity to Christ’s Suffering in Self-Denial and Cross-Bearing: Bavinck on the Role of Positive and Negative Virtues in the Imitation of Christ
16.00 Lecture 7. Hans Burger, TU Kampen, The Renewal of the Mind: Cognitive Aspects of Sin, Conversion and Spiritual Life
16.30 Reception
17.30 Dinner
19.30 Play An evening with C.S. Lewis, by David Payne, performed by the American actor Phil Crowley*
Friday 20 September
9.30 Keynote 8. Ernst Conradie, UWC Cape Town, Could Herman Bavinck be Regarded as an Early Exponent of Christian Ecotheology?
10.30 Lecture 9. Henk van de Belt, VU Amsterdam, Medicine against Doubt: The Development of Bavinck’s View of Certainty and Assurance
11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Lecture 10. Marcel Sarot, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Bavinck on the Imitation of Christ and Mystical Union: A Roman Catholic Appreciation
12.00 Lecture 11. Gray Sutanto, Covenant City Church Jakarta, Original Sin in Bavinck’s Ethics and Dogmatics
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Lecture 12. Hillie van de Streek, TU Kampen, Bavinck’s View on the Position of Women in Society
14.00 Lecture 13. Albert Gootjes, Universiteit Utrecht, Dispensing with the Dutch? Bavinck Translations from the Reformed Dogmatics to the Reformed Ethics
14.30 Coffee break
15.00 Keynote 14. Ad de Bruijne, TU Kampen, Reformed Ethics Today
16.00 Closure


* Beloved author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis hosts a group of American writers at his home just outside Oxford where students regularly packed his lecture hall just to hear him speak. Follow Lewis as he recounts his childhood in Northern Ireland, his tenure at Oxford University, his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien and his marriage to an American woman. Get to know C.S. Lewis, the man as he invites you into his living room and into his life. An evening of pure joy!

Next Conference:

February 6-7, 2020: International conference ‘The Children’s trains and beyond…. The cultural relations between Hungary and the Low Countries in the Interwar Period’.