Almost 35 years have passed since Ron Sider fired his incendiary book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger across the bow of North American Christians. Since then, widening gaps between the rich and the poor smolder throughout an increasingly globalized world. As Christians, we have access to education, opportunity, and resources. Thus, as "rich" Christians, what can and should we do with this "wealth" to serve the Kingdom of God by addressing the brokenness of our world? Can we bring education, environmental and agricultural sustainability, holistic financial and business practices, and political and economic ideas to these problems? And how do Christians engage these issues in the public political culture?
These are the questions that will be addressed in the 2013 Zylstra Symposium on Politics and Culture hosted by Redeemer University College on October 1 and 2, 2013.
The keynote speakers for this year’s event are Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, Chair and associate professor of the Political Science Department at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and Jordan J. Ballor, research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty in Grand Rapids, MI.
Through a Chapel address, keynote speech and several other presentations, Dr. Melkonian-Hoover and Dr. Ballor will introduce in broad strokes the contours of social life from a Christian perspective and delineate the purposes and relationships of various institutions (family, culture, church, government). Understanding “God’s economy” to refer to the “law of God’s household” will help us understand how Christians fulfill their responsibilities to God, individuals, and institutions.
The schedule for the Symposium:
Tuesday, October 1
- 5:30 pm -- Dinner & Presentation: "Proximity, Globalization, and the Common Good." Presentation by Dr. Ballor and response by Dr. Melkonian-Hoover.
Wednesday, October 2
- 11:00 am -- Chapel Address by Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover
Panel Presentation & Discussions
- 1:00 pm -- Social Justice and the Politics of Education
- 2:15 pm -- Social Justice and the Politics of Sustainability
- 3:45 pm -- Social Justice and the Politics of Community Poverty
- 7:30 pm -- Keynote Address by Dr. Jordan Ballor: "God's Economy of Love and Justice"
All of the events are free, and everyone is warmly invited to attend. RSVP to ehallman@redeemer to attend the dinner on October 1.
There is more detailed information on the Schedule, the Panelists' biographies, and the Topics of their presentations.
Thanks to a grant from the Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust, Redeemer has been able to expand the annual Zylstra Lecture Series into a two-day symposium featuring engaging speakers on a variety of topics that honour the memory of Dr. Bernard Zylstra. Dr. Zylstra (1934–1986) was the principal and the professor of political theory at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and a key figure in the Reformational movement among post-WWII North American Christian thinkers.