With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation taking place at the end of next month, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Union Theological College is to devote its autumn seminar series to ‘The Unfinished Reformation’.
Over consecutive Monday evenings in Belfast, starting on 25th September six speakers from both the Reformed and Roman Catholic tradition will look at different aspects of the Reformation in four thought-provoking seminars.
With the College’s teaching staff providing three of the speakers, those attending will also hear from Dr. Francis Campbell, the UK’s former ambassador to the Holy See and current Vice Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Father Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of the World Meeting of Families will take a joint seminar with Rev. Trevor Gribben, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and Clerk of the General Assembly. The title of their talk will be ‘Presbyterians and Catholics: Areas of common concern.’
Union College principal Very Rev. Professor Stafford Carson said the seminars are an opportunity to follow up on some of the issues raised in the College’s Luther 500 Conference in January, especially around the key question, ‘What is the continuing relevance of the Reformation for churches today?’
“One of the slogans of the Reformation was ‘The Church reformed and always reforming’ and we will look at what areas has the church continued to be reformed since the 16th century and in what areas does it still need to be reformed?
“The speakers that we have brought together will help us reflect on these questions from their different perspectives. I hope in running this series it will create a greater awareness of the Reformation, its meaning and on going legacy, especially in Ireland. In helping us to do that, I want to extend a very warm welcome to all our special guest speakers who I believe will make a valuable contribution to that understanding,” Professor Carson said.
“We also wish to affirm that the insights of the Reformers have a continuing relevance for key Christian doctrines and continue to provide the Presbyterian Church in Ireland with important biblical guidelines as it undertakes its mission and ministry in the contemporary world.”
The autumn series ‘The Unfinished Reformation’ will be held in Union Theological College, Belfast on four consecutive Monday evenings from 25th September to 16th October 2017. Starting at 7.30pm each seminar costs £7.50; alternatively an all ticket bundle is available for £25.