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Upcoming Events


November 13, 2014

John Inazu

Dr. John Inazu will offer the fifth annual Pruis Rule of Law Lecture at Calvin College. An Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, Inazu is serving as a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia during 2014-15.

In "The Church's Freedom and the Church's Witness," Inazu will explore the strengths and vulnerabilities of the legal and constitutional arguments for preserving the freedom of the church to proclaim her message in an increasingly pluralistic and secularized society. He will also dicuss arguments that fit within the rule of law and our ongoing democratic experiment, and potential theological as well as legal implications that follow.

Dr. Inazu's scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, as well as on related issues of political and legal theory. His most recent book, Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly," discusses how the current court conversations about the First Amendment in terms of freedoms of association and speech (instead of assembly) undermines protections for groups whose purposes are not demonstrable by speech or expression, but through ways of being.

The lecture will be at 3:30 p.m. in the Meeter Center Lecture Hall on Calvin's campus.

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Previous Events

April 28, 2014

Joshua DuBois

The eighteenth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture featured Joshua DuBois, the bestselling author of the recently released The President's Devotional, and former Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, speaking on "Christ and Culture, in the White House and the Wider World."

Mr. DuBois was the youngest-ever head of a White House department, and he has become a top leader, speaker and writer on religion in the public square, race and grassroots community development. Called President Obama's "Pastor-in-Chief" by TIME magazine, DuBois spearheaded President Obama's outreach to religious organizations and his commitment to fathering, mentoring, community support, and anti-poverty strategies. He helped the President navigate difficult issues at the intersection of religion and politics -- from race in America, to cultural and religious freedom, to the need for reconciliation between countries as well as individuals.

DuBois is the religion and values columnist for the Daily Beast, and is co-founder and CEO of Values Partnerships, a consulting firm that helps the public, private, and nonprofit sectors come together in faith-based partnerships to solve humanitarian challenges. He has written several Newsweek cover stories, and his work has been profiled in the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, PBS and CNN.

Watch an interview with Joshua DuBois, hosted by Henry Institute director Kevin R. den Dulk on "A Christian Calling to Public Service"


March 4, 2014


The rapidly changing events in the Ukraine caused serious ripples and concern throughout the world in Feburary, 2014, resulting in the formation of a panel discussion entitled “Ukraine: The Last Frontier in the Cold War?” which was held at the Calvin College DeVos Communications Center. The panel featured Todd Huizinga (Senior Research Fellow at the Henry Institute, Acton Institute Fellow, and co-founder of the Transatlantic Christian Council, with expertise on the European Union), Becca McBride (professor of Political Science at Calvin College, with research focus on Russia), Joel Westra (professor of Political Science at Calvin College, with research focus on international relations and global security issues), and Olena Shkatulo (professor of Spanish at Calvin College, and a native of the Ukraine). Kevin den Dulk (Executive Director of the Henry Institute and professor of Political Science at Calvin College) served as the moderator.

(Listen to the Panel)


November 4, 2013

Sandra Joireman

The fourth annual Pruis Rule of Law Lecture featured Dr. Sandra Fullerton Joireman, Weinstein Chair of International Studies and professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond, currently also professor of Politics and International Relations at Wheaton College in Illinois. Dr. Joireman received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has done postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford.

Joireman's lecture,"Building the Rule of Law in New States: Kosovo and the Shadow of the European Union" will draw on her most recent fieldwork in Kosovo, one of several western Balkan countries that are part of the next round of accession to the European Union. Like Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia, it is also a country in which the history of conflict is recent and the benefits of EU membership provide a strong economic and political enticement. Kosovo should be a place in which the carrot of EU accession is leading to major social and political change in anticipation of full membership in the European family and yet, this is not how things are working out. Instead of major transformation of society, the prospect of European Union membership appears to be leading to superficial legal changes without enforcement. Joireman's lecture will explore why EU conditionality has not had the transformative effect that might be expected, including a discussion about the theoretical framework of institutional change and a specific focus on the gap between law and the enforcement of women's property rights in Kosovo.

Dr. Joireman has authored a number of books, most recently Where There is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa, as well as many journal articles. Much of her research and writing has focused on African countries, and on how institutional frameworks impact economic growth and political stability, including law and property rights in previously colonized countries.

Watch an interview with Sandra Joireman, hosted by Henry Institute director Kevin R. den Dulk


November 1, 2013

Giacomo Chiozza

Dr. Giacomo Chiozza, Associate Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University lectured on "Cooperation and Contestation in the American World Order: Client States, Corrupt Leaders, and Peaceful Prospects for Change." Chiozza is a student and scholar of International Relations and International Security and is an expert on the study of attitudes towards U.S. power and the study of political leaders in conflict processes.

Dr. Chiozza is the author of numerous journal articles and publications, including Anti-Americanism and the American World Order. His most recent book (co-authored with H.E. Goemans), Leaders and International Conflict won the 2011 Lepgold Prize for best book in International Relations. Before joining Vanderbilt, Chiozza taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2008-2009 he served as a member of the American Political Science Association Presidential Task Force on U.S. Standing in World Politics. His PhD and Masters are both from Duke University.


October 18, 2013

Timothy Steigenga

Dr. Timothy Steigenga spoke on his most recently published book, Against the Tide: Immigrants, Day Laborers, and Community in Jupiter, Florida, which he co-authored with Sandra Lazo de la Vega. Across the U.S., the issue of immigration has generated rancorous debate and divided communities. Many states and municipalities have passed restrictive legislation that erodes any sense of community. In his book and this lecture, Steigenga tells the story of Jupiter, Florida, a coastal town of approximately 50,000 that has taken a different path.

Steigenga is a professor of political science and chair of social sciences and humanities at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. He is the author/editor of six books and numerous other publications on topics ranging from social movements in Latin America to immigration, religion and politics. Since moving to Florida in 1999, he has been actively involved in outreach and education on behalf of Palm Beach County's Mayan immigrant community and has collaborated with civil society organizations in Guatemala to educate policy makers on immigration issues and to foster positive transnational linkages. In 2006, Dr. Steigenga served for six months in Guatemala as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar. He has served as co-principle investigator for the past 10 years on major research grants from the Ford Foundation focusing on the lives of Latin American immigrants in Florida and Georgia. 

Dr. Steigenga's most recent book is available through the Calvin Campus Store.

(Listen to the Lecture)


April 26, 2013

Corwin Smidt

The Seventeenth Annual Paul B. Henry Lecture featured former Henry Institute Director Corwin E. Smidt speaking on "What Does the Lord Require? The Grounds for Christian Civility in Politics."

Christians are called to political engagement. But, how should Christians engage in politics and what should be our political positions? The focus of the lecture centered upon a call to reflect more deeply about our basic political perspectives, and to be more cautious about assuming the correctness of our ideological convictions and political positions when making political decisions. Christians should be known in political life as much for how they choose to engage in public debate as for what they argue. Three basic considerations will be presented that should encourage us, as Christians, to exhibit greater humility with regard to our engagement in political life.

Dr. Smidt received both his Ph.D. and Masters degrees in political science from the University of Iowa and taught political science at Calvin College from 1977 through 2012. He is a prolific author in the field of religion and politics. His numerous authored and co-authored books include: The Disappearing God Gap; The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics; Divided by a Common Heritage; Pews, Prayers and Participation; Pulpit and Politics; In God We Trust; Religion as Social Capital; Evangelicalism: the Next Generation; and The Bully Pulpit. [more information on publications]

Listen to the Lecture (Livestream Recording)

April 25-27, 2013

The Seventh Biennial Symposium on Religion and Public Life, was held at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin College campus, providing the opportunity to present current research, to foster personal and professional networks, to facilitate joint research endeavors, and to learn about research opportunities.

2013 Symposium Program


April 18, 2013

Corwin E. Smidt

Dr. Corwin Smidt, Research Fellow with the Henry Institute, spoke on "American Evangelicals Today: An Emerging New Generation?" at 3:30 p.m. in the Meeter Center Lecture Hall on the Calvin College campus.

Dr. Smidt's newly released volume, American Evangelicals Today, has drawn high praise from noted scholars such as Mark Noll, Robert Wuthnow, and Christian Smith. At the lecture, Professor Smidt briefly provided an overiew of his newly released book, its distinctive qualities, and the topics addressed in the volume, with the majority of his presentation during the talk focused on the question of whether a new generation of evangelicals may be emerging.

View Text of Lecture (pdf format)


April 17, 2013

Chris Alexander

"The Arab Spring Two Years Later" featured Dr. Christopher Alexander speaking on the state of religion and politics in North Africa today, drawing on his expertise in Middle Eastern politics and his specific experience in Tunisia.

The spring of 2011 marked the beginning of the most dramatic and optimistic period of political change in the Arab world since the 1960s. Popular uprisings challenged authoritarian rulers from Morocco to Bahrain. Dictators fell in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Two years later, the regional picture is grim. In even the most hopeful cases, progress toward democracy has slowed or gridlocked. Other countries remain mired in chaos and bloodshed. Alexander will consider how we account for these outcomes and what they mean for the region’s future.

Alexander serves as the John and Ruth McGee Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program at Davidson College in North Carolina where he also teaches International Relations and Middle East Politics in Davidson's Department of Political Science.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute, in cooperation with Calvin College's Departments of History, the African Studies and International Development Program and Multicultural Affairs.


April 15, 2013


"Why Conservative? Why Progressive?" featured six panelists exploring what it means to be progressive or conservative, including the cultural, historic, philosophical, and potentially also the religious elements related to each of the two positions.

Panelists included Michael DeWilde, Winston Elliot, Barbara Elliot, Ted McAllister, Paul Murphy, and Noreen Myers. The event will be at the Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium on GVSU's downtown campus, and was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Russell Kirk Center, and the Business Ethics Center at GVSU.


April 4, 2013

P.J. Hill

The third annual Pruis Rule of Law Lecture featured P.J. Hill, professor emeritus of economics at Wheaton College in Illinois. Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and his undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Economy from Montana State University. He is an economic historian by training and has written on institutional change and the evolution of property rights. He is currently a senior fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana.

Hill's lecture,"Economic Growth, the Rule of Law, and the Image of God" considered the rule of law in economic growth over the last 200 years. According to Hill, the beginning of modern economic growth around 1800 in England and the Netherlands is one of the most important change-points in world history, and the rule of law has played a vital role in the explanation of that growth. Additionally, Hill asserts that the concept of Imago Dei has led to the rule of law.

Listen to the Lecture (mp4 format)


February 26, 2013

Li Ma

Dr. Li (Mary) Ma was featured in a Henry Institute Lecture on "Faith Going Public: House Church Protestants' Civic Engagement in Urban China."

Ma discussed her recent writing, considering how post-reform China has amazed the world with its continuous double-digit GDP growth for over three decades, while also puzzling observers with its unchanged authoritarian regime and weak associationism in the civil sphere. Behind the facade of the China Miracle, rising social conflicts and social injustice stir up new waves of discussion about decades of economic liberalization without political freedom. The rise of Christianity in urban China since the 2000's coincides with a rising "civic fever." Volunteerism is gaining in popularity and many faith-based associations are"going public" despite the government's unchanged restrictions against associationism. With lawyers and house church leaders advocating for civil rights and the right to worship, more activists publicly testifying to their faith on the Internet, and Christians making their voices heard through various professional and voluntary efforts, there is a distinct shift from Christianity being a mere "cultural phenomenon" among Chinese intellectuals in the late 1980's.

Dr. Ma is currently a Senior Research Fellow for the Henry Institute, conducting her current research with funding from the Templeton Foundation through the Center for the Study of Chinese Religion and Society at Purdue University. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tongji University in Shanghai and received her PhD from Cornell University and her Masters from the University of Oxford. Dr. Ma is


February 21, 2013

Rebecca McBride

Rebecca McBride spoke on "The Russian Adoption Ban: An Uncertain Year Ahead" in a lecture co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and Calvin's Political Science Department, discussing Russian President Putin's recent proclamation to end American adoptions of Russian children. McBride extensive expertise in the field includes her doctoral dissertation considering international adoption, the flow of chilldren across international borders, and political factors that shape such relocation.

McBride has taught Political Science at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and has served as a Leadership-Political Analyst and Graduate Fellow for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and a Rotational Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense. Her doctoral work was at Vanderbilt University; she received her M.A. in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University, and she holds a Bachelors degree from Belmont University.

Listen to the Lecture (mp3 format)


Fall, 2012

Criminal Justice Candidate Forum

2012 Election Conversations

A series of forums, panels and debates discussing public policy issues relevant to the November, 2012 election.

Religion and Political Division: How Should We Respond?
Dr. Kevin R. den Dulk
September 9, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church in Grand Haven, MI

Criminal Justice Issues: A Kent County Candidate Forum
Steve Pestka, Rep. Brandon Dillon, Nathan Sneller, Winnie Brinks, Bing Goei, Sheriff Larry Stelma, James Farris, Judge Patricia Gardner, Judge G. Patrick Hillary, Brian Downs, Kevin den Dulk (moderator)
September 26, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Loosemore Auditorium on GVSU's Pew Campus
401 W. Fulton, NW in Grand Rapids, MI

Election 2012: A Watershed in American History
Discussants: Kevin Den Dulk, Paul Isely, Erika King, and Matt McLogan, Gleaves Whitney (moderator)
October 29, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Loosemore Auditorium on GVSU's Pew Campus
401 W. Fulton, NW in Grand Rapids, MI

Post Election Analysis
November 8, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
De Vos Communications Building Lobby, Calvin College
1810 E. Beltline SE in Grand Rapids, MI


March 28, 2012

Beth Bandstra Decker

The annual Paul B. Henry Lecture for 2012, "Paul Henry: Reflections on His Life and Service," was delivered by Beth Bandstra Decker, campaign manager and special assistant to Congressman Paul Henry.

From 1983 through 1986, Bandstra Decker served on the Kent County Commission for the 20th District, representing citizens of Kent County, Michigan. She worked with Congressman Henry on his 1992 campaign for the House of Representatives, and became the media spokesperson for the campaign, office and family throughout Henry's illness, until his untimely death in July of 1993. Decker subsequently served as Congressman Vernon Ehlers' District Director until 1997. She currently lives and works in the Chicago area, directing the WorldView Series at Trinity Christian College, directing the DePaul University Summer Singers, and as an office manager for a small business.

Listen to the Lecture (mp3 format)


March 27, 2012

Kevin den Dulk

Dr. Kevin den Dulk presented the second annual event in the Pruis Rule of Law Lecture Series, speaking on "Fostering Religious Freedom in China: Are Property Rights the Key?" While much of the prominent discussion regarding the rule of law in China has focused on the relationship between law and economic development, activists and other leaders have also demanded stronger protections for religious freedom, among other human rights. In addressing the question of what would be required in order to achieve a robust rule of law, den Dulk drew on lessons from “rights revolutions” in other contexts, including challenging the notion that strengthening the rule of law for economic relations will inevitably (and positively) affect human rights.

Dr. den Dulk is the William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar-in-Residence Chair at Calvin College where he is also a member of the Political Science Department. He is an Honors Faculty-in-Residence of the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University, where he is an Associate Professor with the Department of Political Science.

Listen to the Lecture (mp3 format)


February, 22, 2012

Stephen Monsma

Dr. Stephen Monsma spoke on "Abraham Kuyper, Pope Leo XIII and the ACLU Consider Faith-Based Organizations' Religious Freedom Rights," discussing segments of Dr. Monsma's recently published book entitled Pluralism and Freedom: Faith-Based Organizations in a Democratic Society. The lecture included a discussion about the appropriate model for interaction between the government and faith-based organizations providing human services to the public. Monsma asserted that the United States' commitment to pluralism, diversity, and tolerance is easier to follow in theory than in practice, and contrasted the foundation of faith-based organizations' religious freedom rights as seen in the perspectives of the ACLU, Abraham Kuyper, and Catholic social thought.


November 9, 2011

Darren Walhof

Dr. Darren Walhof presented the final lecture in the Current Trends in American Politics and Public Life series, speaking on "Democratic Legitimacy, Religious Reasons, and the Debate over Marriage."

Dr. Walhof is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Grand Valley State University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Calvin College. Recently he served as a Visiting Research Professor at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto.

The lecture series was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin College Political Science Department.


November 3, 2011

R. Drew Smith

"Black Clergy Activists and Post-Movement Platforms" was the third lecture in the Henry Institute's series on Current Trends in American Politics and Public Life which was presented by Dr. R. Drew Smith.

Dr. Smith is the James Weldon Johnson Visiting Scholar at Emory University, and is a Research Fellow for the Department of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at the University of South Africa. He is also the Director of Religion and Public Life Projects at the Leadership Center at Morehouse College.

The lecture series was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin College Political Science Department.


October 31, 2011

Robert A. Evans, Executive Director of the Plowshares Institute presented "The Role of Youth in Emerging Democracies: Egypt, Korea, China and Papua."

Dr. Evans is a theologian and ethicist who has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize due to his work in South Africa and Indonesia. The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity.


October 26, 2011

Doug Koopman

"Who's Sanctioning Whom? The Continuing Evolution of the Federal Faith-Based Initiative" was the topic of the second lecture in the Henry Institute's series on Current Trends in American Politics and Public Life, given by Dr. Douglas Koopman.

Dr.Koopman is a professor in Calvin College's Political Science Department, and served as the William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar-in-Residence at Calvin from 2007-2008. He has previously worked as Director of the Leadership Program and Professor of Political Science at Hope College, the Interim Director of the Calvin Center for Social Research, and the Program Director of the Henry Institute. Prior to his academic appointments, Dr. Koopman worked in various staff positions on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The lecture series was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin College Political Science Department.

Listen to the Lecture (mp3 format)


October 24, 2011

Kevin den Dulk

Dr. Kevin den Dulk presented "The Politics of Polarization: Implications for Democratic Theory and Practice" as the first lecture in the Henry Institute's series on Current Trends in American Politics and Public Life.

Dr. den Dulk is the William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar-in-Residence Chair at Calvin College where he is also a member of the Political Science Department. He is an Honors Faculty-in-Residence of the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University, where he is an Associate Professor with the Department of Political Science.

The lecture series was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin College Political Science Department.


April 29, 2011

David Campbell

David Campbell, from the University of Notre Dame, gave the annual 2011 Paul B. Henry lecture on the topic of his recently published book, entitled American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (co-authored with Robert D. Putnam).

Campbell received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He is currently John Cardinal O'Hara C.S.C. Associate Professor as well as the founding Director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame.

As an expert on religion, politics, and civic engagement, Dr. Campbell has often been featured in the national media, including the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, NBC News, MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, and C-SPAN. His research has won awards from the American Political Science Association, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation.


April 28-30, 2011



The Henry Institute's sixth biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics was held at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, providing an opportunity for more than fifty scholars to present papers related to their current research regarding the relationship between religion and public life. The event also provided opportunities to establish personal and professional networks, to facilitate joint research endeavors,and to learn about research opportunities in the field.

Sixth Biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics Program


March 17, 2011

Kristin Du Mez


Kristin Du Mez, Calvin College Professor of History and member of the Gender Studies Committee, lectured on "Masculinity, Militarism, and Modern American Evangelicalism." Dr. Du Mez received her B.A. from Dordt College and earned her Ph.D. in American History from the University of Notre Dame, where she specialized in women's history and religious history. Her research includes gender and religion in nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history, connections between gender, religion, and foreign policy, and gender issues in world Christianity. She is currently completing a book entitled The Forgotten Women's Bible, and has published articles in Breaking Boundaries: Female Biblical Interpreters who Challenged the Status Quo and in American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History.


February 23, 2011

John Tiemstra

"Globalization: Seeking to Reconcile Theological and Economic Perspectives" was the topic of a lecture presented by Dr. John Tiemstra, Professor of Economics at Calvin College who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2009, Dr. Tiemstra received the notable Thomas F. Divine Award for lifetime contributions to social economics, based on his interest and scholarship on the relationship between morality and economic life.

Tiemstra has authored articles which have been published in various journals and magazines, including Review of Social Economy, Forum for Social Economics, Business & Society Review, Challenge Magazine, Faith & Economics, CSR and CrossCurrents. He also wrote an introductory economics textbook entitled: Economics: A Developmental Approach. He is a member of the American Economics Association and the Association of Christian Economics, is a past president of the Association for Social Economics, and is on the editorial board for Faith and Economics.


January 31, 2011

Jonathan Chaplin

Jonathan Chaplin, Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics at Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, lectured on his recent book entitled Herman Dooyeweerd: Christian Philosopher of State and Civil Society. Dooyeweerd, a twentieth century Dutch philosopher, has long influenced a scholarly community in Europe and North America. Chaplin asserts that the philosopher can offer constructive concepts regarding the relationship between state and civil society which will help to achieve justice and the public good.

Chaplin holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University; a MPhil degree from the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Canada; and a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has affiliations with the Center for Public Justice, and has served as a Board member for Citizens for Public Justice in Toronto and the Movement for Christian Democracy in the United Kingdom.


November 17, 2010

Tracy Kuperus

Tracy Kuperus, Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Calvin College, spoke on "Diminished or Diverse? An Examination of the Political Voice of Churches in Democratic South Africa."

Before coming to Calvin College, Professor Kuperus taught in the political science departments at Westmont College and at Gordon College. Her research has focused on church-state relations in South Africa and the interaction between civil society and democratization in southern Africa. She is the author of State, Civil Society and Apartheid in South Africa: An Examination of Dutch Reformed Church-State Relations, and has contributed various chapters and articles to other books and journals on the topics of race, reconciliation and religious associations in southern African nations.


November 3, 2010

Andrey Shirin

Andrey Shirin, Adjunct Professor at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies (Falls Church, VA), lectured on “The Rule of Law in Russia: Problems and Perspectives” as the inaugural in the Pruis Rule of Law Lecture Series

Andrey was born in Russia; neither his parents nor his grandparents were believers.  At the age of sixteen, he became disappointed in Communist ideology and embarked on a search for truth which culminated in his becoming a Christian in the local Baptist church.  Andrey later came to the United States for seminary studies, first for his Masters degree, and later for his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary where his dissertation was entitled Postfoundationalist Zhivoznaniye: Splitting the Difference between American Pragmatism and the Russian Tradition of All-Unity. Shirin asserts that the two philosophical traditions are complementary rather than contradictory.

While completing his doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary, Andrey taught at Moscow Seminary on an intensive course basis and planted a Russian church in Wilmington, Delaware.  In 2004, he became a Church Planting Missionary in the greater Washington D.C. area, working with internationals (primarily Russians and Eastern Europeans). 

Shirin's research is focused on how Russian religious thought can contribute to contemporary discourses on relevant issues of the increasingly globalized world, particularly in regard to the formation of social ethics in modern Russia.


October 19, 2010

Jeffrey Brauch

Jeffrey A. Brauch presented a lecture on "Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law." Brauch is currently the Dean of Regent University School of Law, an appointment which he accepted in 2000. Prior to this position, he taught at Regent Law School for six years, specializing in Employee Benefits law, legal education, and Christian Foundations of Law.

Regent University School of Law opened their Center for Global Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in September of 2010, with the goal of providing hope and legal protection to the oppressed and vulnerable around the world. According to Brauch, "The need [for this type of Center] is tremendous. Shockingly, there are more slaves today--at least 27 million--than at any time in the history of the world. Over 100 million children live independently on the streets scrambling to survive. In the last decade in Uganda, 25,000 of these children were abducted and forced to fight as soldiers. When I hear these reports-- and there are countless others--I am tempted to despair. Until I remember that God is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He loves justice."

The Center will equip students to be advocates for the oppressed around the world through classroom training and hands-on internships and clinical opportunities, as well as coordinating with other individuals and groups already working to promote justice and human rights.


October 13, 2010

Ani Sarkissian

Ani Sarkissian spoke on "The Causes and Consequences of Religious Minority Repression in Muslim Countries." Dr. Sarkissian is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University, where she is a core faculty member of the Muslim Studies Program and the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. Sarkissian holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she received grants from the National Science Foundation and IREX (Individual Advanced Research Opportunities) to develop her dissertation on religion and democratization in Christian and Islamic societies.

Dr. Sarkissian's current research focuses on the role of religious, ethnic, and other identities in affecting political change. She is working on several projects on the topics of political tolerance, civil society, religious political parties, and the role of religious organizations in democratization.


September 16, 2010

Paul Abramson

A lecture entitled "Politics in the Reigns of Saul and David" was given by Paul Abramson, from the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. Abramson has taught at MSU since 1967 and was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1987-88. He attended Washington University in St. Louis and the University of California at Berkeley where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and received his Ph.D.

Abramson writes extensively, and is the author of more than seventy journal articles, as well as many books, including Change and Continuity in the 2008 Elections; Value Change in Global Perspective; Political Attitudes in America; and The Political Socialization of Black Americans. He anticipates writing a book analyzing the 2010 U.S. congressional elections in the upcoming months.


June 3 - 9, 2010

The seventh "Pollsters and Parishioners: A Workshop on Survey Research and American Religion" was held from June 3-9, 2010 at Calvin College. Twenty-two selected graduate students and recent Ph.D. graduates in disciplines related to the field of study of The Henry Institute met for the week-long seminar.

Workshop Participants


March 18, 2010

Michael Gerson

The fourteenth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture featured Michael Gerson speaking on "Tensions at the Crossroads of Religion and Politics." Gerson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Center on Faith & International Affairs at the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), a faith-based, non-partisan think tank in Arlington, Virginia. His work at IGE focuses on human rights, global health, and conflict resolution.

Mr. Gerson is also a nationally syndicated columnist whose work regularly appears in The Washington Post and Newsweek. He is the author of the book Heroic Conservatism and serves on numerous boards. Gerson previously was with the Council on Foreign Relations and was a top aide to President George W. Bush from 1999 to 2006.


February 19, 2010

Lewis Daly

Independent scholar and writer Lewis Dalygave a lecture at Calvin on "God and Government: Abraham Kuyper, Pope Leo XIII, and George W. Bush Confront the Social Question."

Daly studied religious ethics at Union Theological Seminary and is currently the Director and Senior Fellow of the Fellows Program at Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization founded in 2000 and located in New York City. He has authored numerous books, including: God's Economy: Faith-Based Initiatives and the Caring State; Unjust Desserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take It Back; and God and the Welfare State.


January 18, 2010

Mark Durie

The Rev. Dr. Mark Durie offered his analysis on Islam and its theological, political and legal ideology towards non-Muslims (especially Christians and Jews) including the concept of dhimmitude, with its humiliation and subjugation of "non-believers." Durie is a theologian, activist and the vicar of St. Mary's Anglican Church in Caulfield, Australia.

Dr. Durie has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, on Christian-Muslim relations, and on religious freedom. His most recent book, The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom will be published in February of 2010. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford. Durie was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, and the Calvin Theological Seminary.


November 16, 2009

Patricia Killen

Patricia O'Connell Killen, provost and professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, spoke on "Backwater, Bellwether, Barometer? Personal Spirituality, Organized Religion and Public LIfe in the Pacific Northwest."

Dr. Killen received her Bachelors degree from Gonzaga University, and her Masters and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is a well-known American religious historian, with particular expertise in nineteenth and twentieth century Christianity in North America, Catholicism in North America, religion among European immigrant communities, religion in the Western United States, and the development of lived theologies in faith communities. Her current research involves an exploration of how people inside and outside the doors of religious institutions in the Pacific Northwest are influenced by and, in turn, affect the natural and social-cultural dynamics of the geographical region. She is the primary editor of Religion and Public LIfe in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone and a contributor to Cascadia, the Elusive Utopia: Exploring Spirituality in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Calvin College Mellema Program in Western American Studies and the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social and Economic Thought.


October 20, 2009

Christine Bodewes

Christine Bodewes discussed her recently completed Ph.D. work on African Christianity, with a more specific focus on the role of churches in civic education in Africa in a lecture entitled "Perspectives on the Slums of Nairobi, Kenya: What is the Role of the Churches?"

Bodewes received her B.A. with honors from Saint Mary's and went on to receive a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois Urbana. Her Ph.D. was through the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

For seven years, Dr. Bodewes was a partner in a large Chicago law firm practicing corporate securities litigation. In 1997, she became a Maryknoll lay missioner, moving to Nairobi, Kenya, where she worked on legal reform and civic education in Kibera (the largest slum in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa). Bodewes co-founded the land rights program at the Legal Aid Clinic in Kibera, as well as founding the Office of Human Rights, a grass roots program providing free legal service, civic education and advocacy on human rights issues to slum dwellers. Her eight years of work in Kenya involved many facets of civic education, legal aid, advocacy and lobbying on a broad range of human rights issues impacting the community, such as land and housing problems, forced evictions, slum upgrading, illegal distribution of illicit brews and evangelization amidst the poverty and despair surrounding the impoverished people living in the Kibera slum.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Calvin Pre-Law Program, the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, the Calvin Political Science Department, Calvin's International Development Studies, Calvin's Gender Studies Program, and Calvin's African and African Diaspora Studies Program.


October 7, 2009

Corwin Smidt

Corwin Smidt, Executive Director of the Paul Henry Institute, spoke on "The Disappearing God Gap? Religion and the 2008 Presidential Election," presenting some of the findings from the Henry Institute national survey conducted in two phases, before and after the November 2008 elections.

Smidt earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa, and specializes in American public opinion and electoral behavior. In addition to his role as Director of the Henry Institute, he is a professor of Political Science at Calvin College and is well known as a writer, scholar and expert in the area of religion and politics.

Dr. Smidt's expertise and knowledge in the field of religion and politics have led to numerous media interviews and consultations, including interviews with Reuters, the Associated Press, the Washington Times, the Denver Post, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Grand Rapids Press. He has been invited to speak at various conferences and events in the United States and internationally.

As part of the Civic Responsibility research grant awarded to the Henry Institute by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a national survey was conducted in connection with the 2008 election. The survey was designed to evaluate the interplay between religious beliefs, behaviors and values and political attitudes and opinions. The analysis of responses from the more than 3,000 Americans who responded form the basis for the upcoming book edited and co-authored by Smidt entitled Religion and the 2008 Election (to be published by Oxford University Press).


September 30, 2009

Tamrat Layne

Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Tamrat Layne, spoke at Calvin on the topic of Transformation in Jesus.Layne was one of the founding members of the former Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Movement (EPDM) [now the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM)]. As a leader in the organization, he was an active participant in the seventeen years of rebellion prior to their overthrow of the socialist military dictatorship in Ethiopia, when he became deputy prime minister. But in 1996, he was arrested, charged, and convicted of corruption and abuse of power.

Layne served twelve years in prison in Ethiopia, and was recently released six years before completing his 18 year sentence. While incarcerated, Tamrat Layne became deeply religious, converting to Christianity in 2001. In an interview with Addis Fortune after his release on December 19, 2008, he said, "I am a man of God. I've no desire to engage in personal or party politics. I would like to preach faith, peace and love."

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Calvin College President's Office, the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.


September 17 & 18, 2009

Mark Noll

Prolific author and well-known evangelical speaker Mark Noll offered two lectures at Calvin, centering around his recent books: September 17, "God and Race in American Politics;" and "World Christianity and American Christianity: What About the Future?" on September 18.

Noll is currently the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at Notre Dame University; he previously taught for 27 years at Wheaton College in both history and theology. Noll was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine in 2005. He is a well known author, and his book credits include The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind; The Rise of Evangelicalism; The Work We Have To Do: A History of Protestants in America, and The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith.

The lectures were cosponsored by the Henry Institute, the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity and the Calvin College History Department.

Listen to God and Race in American Politics (mp3 format)

Listen to World Christianity and American Christianity (mp3 format)



September 10, 2009 Corwin Smidt

Corwin Smidt, Director of the Paul Henry Institute was featured at the Grand Rapids Historical Society meeting, speaking on "Reflections on the Life, Thought, and Public Service of Paul B. Henry." By drawing on some of Henry's writings prior to his life of public service, the talk outlined Henry's political principles and how they shaped his political practice, thereby making Paul Henry (in the words of columnist David Broder) "one political who lived up to the highest standards of public service."


June 11 - 17, 2009

The sixth "Pollsters and Parishioners: A Workshop on Survey Research and American Religion" was held in June of 2009 at Calvin College. Sixteen graduate students and recent Ph.D. graduates in disciplines related to the field of study of The Henry Institute participated in the week-long study seminar.

Workshop Participants


April 23 - 25, 2009

The Henry Institute's fifth biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics was held at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in April of 2009, bringing together individuals who share an interest in the interplay of religion and politics. Eighty participants attended the event, with scholars presenting 43 papers related to their current research while forming personal and professional networks, and learning about ongoing opportunities and discussion in this area. The program for the event, as well as a number of papers presented at the program are available through the following link.

Symposium Program


April 14, 2009

Michael Cromartie

The thirteenth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture, "No Final Victories, No Final Defeats: Doing Our Duty While Living in Exile," featured Michael Cromartie, former Chair and current Vice-Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he has served since his original appointment in 2004. Cromartie is also Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to public policy issues.

Cromartie is a senior advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public LIfe and a senior fellow with the Trinity Forum. He hosts Radio America's weekly show "Faith and Life," and is an advisory editor of Christianity Today and served as an advisor to the PBS documentary series "With God on Our Side: the Rise of the Christian Right in America." Cromartie is the co-editor of Piety and Politics: Evangelicals and Fundamentalists Confront the World, as well as the editor of Religion and Politics in America; Religion, Culture, and International Conflict; and A Public Faith: Evangelicals and Civic Engagement, among numerous other published works.

Mr. Cromartie has been quoted on issues relating to religion and politics in the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The New Republic, the New York Times, Christianity Today, U.S. News & World Report, the Associated Press and many other newspapers and magazines in America and Europe. He has appeared on many radio and television programs as well.

A graduate of Covenant College in Georgia, Michael Cromartie holds his M.A. in Justice from the American University in Washington D.C.


March 2, 2009

picture of Cal Thomas

Syndicated columnist and author Cal Thomas spoke at Calvin College, commenting on a "Political, Cultural, and Spiritual State of the Union." Thomas has been writing a newspaper column since 1984 and today appears in over 500 newspapers around the United States. He is also a panelist on Fox News Watch and provides a daily radio commentary heard on over 300 stations.

Thomas writes and speaks frequently about political and societal issues, from a conservative viewpoint, with comments that are frequently controversial as well as thought provoking. He is the author of numerous books, including Blinded by Might, The Things that Matter Most, The Death of Ethics in America, and The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas, and Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America.


November 13, 2008

Bruce Frohnen


"The Papal Revolution, Conscience, and the Rule of Law" was addressed in a lecture by Dr. Bruce Frohnen, a visiting Associate Professor of Law at the Ohio Northern University College of Law. Frohnen has served as a Visiting Scholar with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, as well as a Legislative Aide to former U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham, and a Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund Inc. He has taught at Emory University, the Catholic University of America and Ave Maria School of Law. Dr. Frohnen's research interests focus on the the connections between human rights and differing views of the nature of human community and the person.

Frohnen holds a J.D. from the Emory University School of Law and a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. He received his M.S. from the University of California and his Bachelors Degree from California State University. Frohnen is the editor or co-editor of ten books, including American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, which was the subject of a front page article in the New York Times. He has also written numerous articles and book chapters.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin College Pre-Law Program.


November 12, 2008

David Long

In "Why Do They Hate Us?" Dr. David Long discussed the hatred Arab extremists direct toward the United States. His understanding of Middle Eastern culture, ideology and attitudes has been gained during many years as a diplomat and a scholar. A retired Foreign Service Officer, Long was posted in Sudan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan between 1962 and 1993. His positions in the State Department included Deputy Director of Counter Terrorism for Regional Policy, the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff, and Chief of the Near East Research Division in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

Dr. Long received his AB in History from Davidson College, his MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, an MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from George Washington University. He has extensive experience teaching, lecturing and advising on International Studies, International Relations and terrorism issues, with specific expertise on contemporary Arab studies, the Middle East and North Africa. Long has written extensively in this area, with publications including The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa; Gulf Security in the Twenty-First Century; The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; The Anatomy of Terrorism; and The Persian Gulf War.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Calvin College History Department, and the Calvin Communications Arts and Sciences Department.


October 27, 2008

Jonathan Chaplin


In his lecture "Thinking Christianly - Voting Secularly? How to Vote in November (2028)," Jonathan Chaplin (Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, based at Tyndale House in Cambridge, United Kingdom) noted that while we are voting now, Christians must also think a generation ahead in order to make a real impact as Christian citizens who don't simply follow secular fashion.

Chaplin holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University; a MPhil degree from the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Canada; and a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has affiliations with the Center for Public Justice, and serves as a Board member for Citizens for Public Justice in Toronto and the Movement for Christian Democracy in the United Kingdom.

The lecture was cosponsored by the Henry Institute and the Political Science Department.


October 23, 2008

Maya people

Rob Cahill spoke on "¿Con Qué Derecho?: Dominicans, Maya and the Advent of Human Rights” in a lecture sponsored by the Henry Institute and the History Department at Calvin College.

During the brutal conquest of the Maya people of Guatemala, four Dominican Priests under the direction of Bartolome de las Casas (the Bishop of Chiapas and northern Guatemala) encountered Q'equchi' Chieftain Juan Matal Batz. The church challenged the state on the morality of the military conquest of the Maya people, leading the Spanish empire to witness both the Dominican experiment of non-violent evangelism and formation of the emerging concept of Human Rights. The events told in Cahill's lecture demonstrated the historical framework of concepts that remain front burner issues today: morality, conquest, conscience, religious pluralism, tolerance and international law.

Cahill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and received his MDiv. from Fuller Theological Seminary. With his wife Tara and their four children, Rob has spent 8 years living and working among Guatemala's indigenous Q'eqchi' Maya people. The Cahills work to develop programs that address food security issues, as Co-Directors for Proeval Raxmu.


October 13-21, 2008

Walk to Remember

Walk to Remember

War Awareness Week encompassed a series of lectures and other special events designed to approach the concept of war from many angles, stimulating the Calvin community to discuss and explore ideas about current wars involving the United States, and about war in general.

Various lectures included Randall Bytwerk presenting historical information about war propaganda; Bert de Vries on the Middle Eastern perspective; retired U.S. Army LTC Denny Gillem covering the political aspect of the war; Colonel Herman Keizer, discussing just war doctrine and the influence of neoconservatives on the war; Branden Lyon presenting the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on soldiers; Haider Alsaedy spoke on the crisis in his hometown of Basra; local peace activist Richa covered his involvement with the Arlington Midwest exhibit, a series of tombstones commemorating each fallen U.S. service member; Melvin Flikkema discussed the concept of a just war, and Dr. Ronald Kramer presented historical aspects surrounding terror bombing.

Non-lecture events included a series of placards, one for each soldier serving in a Michigan unit who has died since 9-11 entitled “A Walk to Remember,” which was accompanied by a special memorial service in the Calvin Chapel, as well as a student debate on the war.

War Awareness Week was co-sponsored by student organizations Democracy Matters and the Social Justice Committee and by the Henry Institute.


October 14, 2008

Matthew Sitman, Ph.D. candidate in Political Theory in the Department of Government at Georgetown University spoke on "Through a Glass Darkly: Politics and the Problem of Knowledge in Calvin's Thought." The event was jointly sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Calvin College Political Science Department, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.


September 17, 2008
Jim Wallis photo


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Jim Wallis, President of Call to Renewal (a national federation of churches, denominations, and faith-based organizations from across the theological and political spectrum working to overcome poverty) and Editor of Sojourner Magazine presented "The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith and Politics in a Post-Religious Right America." Wallis is a well known speaker, author, activiist and international commentator on ethics and public life.

The lecture was jointly sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Office of Christian Formation, and the Calvin College Student Activities Office.


June 12 - 19, 2008

The fifth biennial "Pollsters and Parishioners: A Workshop on Survey Research and American Religion" was held in June at Calvin College with 16 graduate students and recent Ph.D. graduates in disciplines related to the field of study of The Henry Institute participating in the week-long study seminar. The event was led by Henry Institute Executive Director Corwin Smidt, Lyman Kellstedt (Wheaton College) and James Guth (Furman University).

Workshop Participants


April 24-26, 2008

The Henry Institute's fourth biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics was held at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in April of 2008. The event brought together individuals who share an interest in the interplay of religion and politics, with attendance open to anyone interested in the field of discussion. The Symposium provided an opportunity for scholars in the field to present papers related to their current research, to foster personal and professional networks, to facilitate joint research endeavors, and to learn about ongoing research opportunities in this area.

2008 Symposium Program


March 31, 2008

Dean Koldenhoven

The annual Paul Henry Lecture featured Dean Koldenhoven, former mayor of Palos Heights, Illinois and 2002 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Mr. Koldenhoven spoke on "Religious Tolerance -- Love Your Neighbor."

In 2000, plans to purchase a Christian church and open a mosque in the Chicago suburb of Palos Heights were met with extensive opposition from the community and numerous city council members. Mayor Koldenhoven took a stand within his community in support of the Al Salam Mosque Foundation, condemning bigotry and religious intolerance toward the Islamic community. He was subsequently defeated in his bid for relection in 2001.

In 2002, Koldenhoven received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for political courage and public service. When asked how he decided to take his controversial stand in the community, Koldenhoven replied "I learned in grammar school about the First Amendment in which the first part of it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" and Jesus command in the Bible when he says to "love your neighbor." The decision was easy."

Video of Religious Tolerance -- Love Your Neighbor is available from the Calvin College Campus Store.


February 27, 2008

Paula Booke, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science spoke on "The Politics of Rapture: The Social Network of Premillennialist Websites." Booke received her M.A. at the University of Chicago in 2005, where she has held several Teaching Assistant positions, and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester in New York.

Booke's research has focused around religion and politics, race and politics, political psychology, public opinion and qualitative methods. Her dissertation is entitled "Politics of the Apocalypse: The Effect of Premillennial Eschatology on Politics." She has received academic honors and recognition through numerous scholarships, fellowships and lectureships over the course of her studies and has additionally presented various papers at conferences and symposiums.

The lecture was cosponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin College Office of the Dean for Multicultural Affairs.


February 13, 2008

Weng Kaixin, Postdoctoral Fellow on Ethics with the Department of Philosophy at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, presented "The Rule of Law and the Role of Religion in Contemporary China."

Weng Kaixin holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and completed her Masters work at Zhejiang University, with previous studies at Ningbo University. Her research interests are in areas related to church-state studies, basic constitutional rights, the legal profession and legal education, and "new rights" controversies.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Paul Henry Institute, the Nagel Institute and the Calvin College Philosophy Department.


November 27, 2007

Mark Amstutz

Mark Amstutz, Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College in Illinois spoke on "The Promise and Limits of Political Forgiveness in International Politics," utilizing his considerable research on the subject of international political ethics. Dr. Amstutz has published many books on the topic, including International Ethics: Concepts, Theories, and Cases in Global Politics and Christian Ethics and U.S. Foreign Policy. Most recently his work has focused on forgiveness and reconciliation in public life, in particular on the healing of nations in the aftermath of civil wars and mass atrocities. In 2004, The Health of Nations: The Promise and Limits of Political Forgiveness was published. He conducted interviews for the book and for ongoing research on the topic in Argentina, Chile, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Rwanda.

Amstutz grew up in Latin America and has traveled widely as a teacher and scholar. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from American University with his undergraduate work completed at Houghton College in New York. In 1993, after more than a decade of service, he retired as a Commander from the U.S. Naval Reserve.

The lecture was cosponsored by the Calvin College Political Science Department.


November 19, 2007




Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, Associate Professor of Applied Theology at Howard University's Divinity School, spoke on "The Christian Church and African American Civic Engagement." Trulear is also a Fellow at the Center for Public Justice, and senior pastor at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church of Twin Oaks, Pennsylvania. He has taught religion, public policy and community studies at Yale University, Drew University and the Center for Urban Theological Studies and recently completed a three year term as vice president of faith based initiatives at Public/Private Ventures in Philadelphia. Previous to that position, Reverend Trulear was the dean for first professional studies at New York Theological Seminary and also coordinated several programs for high risk youth with Youth for Christ/ Campus LIfe in Paterson, New Jersey.

A graduate of Morehouse College and Drew University, Harold Trulear has authored more than sixty published monographs, articles, essays, sermons and reviews, including African American Churches and Welfare Reform, Faith Based Initiatives with High Risk Youth, and George Kelsey: Unsing Hero, documenting the life of the man who was Martin Luther King's mentor. He also writes a quarterly column for Prism: The Alternative Evangelical Voice.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Multicultural Affairs, the Calvin College Political Science Department, and the Paul Henry Institute.


October 8, 2007






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Sometimes outstanding bravery occurs in the most unexpected places. That happened when three peace-seeking nuns allegedly "attacked" a nuclear missile silo in Colorado and were imprisoned for their non-violent protest in 2003. They were released from prison in 2005, and two of the Dominican sisters (who have received national and international awards for their commitment to peace) Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte, talked about their experiences and their powerful commitment to peace at Calvin College, following the showing of the film Convictionswhich documents their story. The event was cosponsored by the Paul Henry Institute and the Calvin College Social Justice Committee.


June 21 - 27, 2007

The fourth biennial "Pollsters and Parishioners: A Workshop on Survey Research and American Religion" was held in June, with twenty-three graduate students and recent Ph.D. graduates in Political Science, Sociology and related disciplines participating in the seminar, which was conducted by Henry Institute Executive Director Corwin Smidt, Lyman Kellstedt (Wheaton College) and James Guth (Furman University).

Workshop Participants


April 30, 2007

Doug Koopman


"Practicing Repentance: Christian Politics After Arrogance" was presented by Dr. Douglas Koopman, William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar-in-Residence and professor of Political Science at Calvin College.

Dr. Koopman worked for many years in Washington D.C., for Congressmen Richard Armey, Peter Hoekstra, Fred Upton, and Paul Henry. He was also an Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress for more than 4 years.


April 17, 2007

The Paul Henry Institute, the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, and the Calvin College Religion Department sponsored a lecture by Andrea Althoff, Visiting Scholar at the Martin Marty Center for the University of Chicago Divinity School entitled "Migration and the Transformation of Latino Religious Identities in the U.S."

Dr. Althof resides in Chicago while working on a research project entitled "Religious Identities of Latin American Immigrants and Social Cohesion," and is also an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University, leading a course on immigrant experiences. She has studied the Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Maya Movements, and utilized those insights in writing her Ph.D. dissertation on Ethnicity and Religion. Dr. Althof asserts that her research places her at the intersection of Sociology, Political Sciences, Anthropology and Theology.


April 11, 2007

"Fundamentalist History, Secular Myth, and the Media's God Problem" was presented by Jeff Sharlet at Calvin College and cosponsored by the Henry Institute, the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, the Gainey Institute for Faith and Communication and Calvin Media Relations.

Sharlet, an American journalist and author best known for writing about religious subcultures in the United States, also teaches journalism at New York University. He is a contributing editor for Harper's and Rolling Stone and is the co-creator of two online journals: Killing the Buddha and The Revealer.


April 4, 2007

Professor Mona Abousenna lectured on "Islamic Fundamentalism and Secularization," discussing her perspective on the current state of Islam and calling for a more enlightened and critical interpretation of her faith tradition.

Professor Abousenna is the founder and Secretary General of two international philosophical associations: the Afro-Asian Philosophy Association, and Averroes and Enlightenment International Association. She is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature on the Faculty of Education at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

The event was cosponsored by the Henry Institute, the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, and Calvin College's Philosophy Department.


March 8, 2007

The Henry Institute and the Calvin College Philosophy Department jointly sponsored a lecture by Dr. Paul Weithman, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame entitled "Who Gets What - and Why? Entitlements, Capacities, and Human Dignity."

Dr. Weithman received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and works primarily in philosophical areas which include contemporary political philosophy, ethics, and medieval political philosophy. He is the author of Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship and the editor of Religion and Contemporary Liberalism.


February 26, 2007

Nancy Ammerman, Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University's School of Theology, discussed "Doing Good in the World: How Congregations Make a Difference." Dr. Ammerman has spent much of the last decade studying American religious congregations. Her many writings include Pillars of Faith: American Congregations and their Partners; Congregation and Community; and Bible Believers: Fundamentalists in the Modern World.

In 1993, Dr. Ammerman served on a panel of experts convened by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury in light of the government's confrontation with the Branch Davidians at Waco, and she testified on the same subject before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1995. In 1997, she lectured in Israel under sponsorship of the U.S. State Department.


November 16, 2006

In "Renewing American Culture: The Pursuit of Happiness," Theodore Malloch discussed the basic questions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the face of challenges presented in a global economy with rapidly advancing technology and ever-changing information. Malloch is Chairman and CEO of The Roosevelt Group; he is a pioneer of the global market and works exclusively with CEO's, business leaders and government leaders in conceptualizing projects on a global scale and accessing "real-time" information to understand and manage rapidly changing markets, government transformations, emerging trading blocks, and critical relationships.

In 2005, Dr. Malloch founded and continues to Chair the Spiritual Enterprise Institute; he served as President of the 1992 World Economic Develpment Congress sponsored by CNN, founded The CEO Learning Parnership, and managed the development of UN EDIFACT (the new rules and standards for global paperless trading). Malloch has served on the executive board of the World Economic Forum, has held an ambassadorial level position in the United Nations, has headed consulting at Wharton-Chase Econometrics, worked in capital markets at Salomon Brothers, served in senior policy positions in the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and has worked at the U.S. State Deparment.


November 15, 2006

Virginia Parish Beard discussed "Democratization: African Female Political Behavior in Islam and Christianity," focusing on a portion of her Ph.D. dissertation ("Democratic Orientation in Emerging African Democracies: Do Religion and Gender Matter?").

Parish Beard, a graduate of Calvin College with a Masters of Public Policy and Administration from Michigan State University, is currently working on her Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University, with fields of concentration in Comparative Politics and Public Policy. She has done research on many topics, including issues related to the Michigan Education Trust, the Afrobarometer Public Opinion Survey Research Project, and the Mission: Moving Mountains, Nakuru, Kenya project.


October 12, 2006

The eleventh annual Paul B. Henry Lecture featured Federal Appellate Judge Michael McConnell, speaking on "Public Virtue, Republican Government and the Separation of Church and State." Judge McConnell was appointed to the Tenth Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2002, and is widely known for his judicial opinions related to church-state issues. He is among the country's most distinguished scholars in the fields of constitutional law and theory with a specialty in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. McConnell has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in eleven cases.

McConnell attended Michigan State University and the University of Chicago Law School. He clerked for Judge Skelly Wright on the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and then for Justice William Brennan on the Supreme Court. McConnell joined the faculty at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1997 after serving at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. Prior to his teaching career, Professor McConnell served as assistant to the solicitor general with the U.S. Department of Justice and as assistant general counsel for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Video of Public Virtue, Republican Government and the Separation of Church and State is available from the Calvin College bookstore.

September 28, 2006


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"Orthodoxy, Islam and Religious Intolerance in Russia" was presented by Vyacheslav Karpov, an Associate Professor at Western Michigan University. His current research focuses on religion, moral values and tolerance in Russia, the United States, and other societies. Karpov has also researched and published work on post-communist political and educational change. Presently, he is serving as the Principal Investigator of a collaborative international survey-research project entitled "Religious Intolerance among Orthodox Christians and Muslims in Russia" which is funded by the National Council for East European and Eurasian Research. Prior to coming to the United States in 1990, Karpov had lived, studied and worked in St. Petersburg, Russia.

April 27 - 29, 2006

The third biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics, was sponsored by the Henry Institute, with nearly 100 scholars participating in the event. The program featured 24 panels discussing a wide variety of topics related to the overall conference theme.


March 30, 2006

Dr. Gary Bouma presented "Road Rage on the Way to Heaven: Religious Resurgence and Rising Religious Conflict." Dr. Bouma is the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations-Asia Pacific, as well as a Professor of Sociology at Monash University in Australia. He graduated from Calvin College in 1963, is an Anglican priest, and has served in professional positions in eight different denominations. Dr. Bouma has written extensively, with his research focusing primarily on the interaction of religion and society in western cultures.

Listen to the Lecture (mp3 format)


March 15, 2006

The new Christian Reformed Church Synodical document entitled "Peace, War and the CRC" was the topic of a panel discussion at Calvin College, co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Panelists included Robert De Vries and Scott Thomas (Calvin College Political Science Department), Kevin denDulk (Grand Valley State University Political Science Department), and Doug Koopman (Director of the Leadership Program at the Hope College Political Science Department). Corwin Smidt, Director of the Paul Henry Institute, served as moderator at the event.

A copy of the report is available from the Christian Reformed Church of North America.


February 22, 2006

Scott Thomas

Dr. Scott Thomas presented "How Shall We Then Live? Rethinking Religion, Politics and Communities in an Age of Global Terrorism." Thomas has extensively lectured and written about the interaction of religion and international relations, as well as about politics in developing countries. His book, The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations, demonstrates the moral force of transnational ideas in world politics (for example, opposition to racism, apartheid or colonialism) and the the growing role of religion and religious leaders on the political world scene.

Dr. Thomas teaches at the University of Bath in England and joined the Calvin College Political Science Department in 2005, filling the William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar in Residence Chair.


February 1, 2006

Vincent E. Bacote

"Spiritual Public Theology: Advancing Abraham Kuyper's Legacy" was presented by Vincent E. Bacote. According to Dr. Bacote, as Abraham Kuyper so clearly explained, theology and Christian faith ought to impact every facet of life and society; it should not be reserved "for some kind of Christian ghetto."

Bacote's writings include The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper, "Justice" in the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of Scripture, and the article entitled "Church As a Lifestyle: Distinctive or Typical?" included in This Side of Heaven.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Calvin College Office for Multicultural Affairs and the Calvin College Department of Religion.


November 10, 2005

Garrett Paul

"Can There Be A 'Christian Politics' Today?" was the topic of a lecture featuring Dr. Garrett Paul, Professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College. Dr. Paul is the author of The Emphatic Christian Center, a book which argues that over the long term, politics cannot be healthy without being connected to realms beyond the political arena, i.e., without placing political life in a framework of ultimacy. The extremes of the Right or Left, (or even the middle of the spectrum) do not meet that framework. Instead, the framework which can foster healthy politics is a particular Christian political practice rooted in an emphatic Christian centralism, a body of reflection and action that takes the language and realities of sin, love, and power seriously, and employs them as criteria for reforming political practice.

Dr. Paul asserts that what is needed is a contemporary political agenda based on these principles that addresses the pressing and interrelated problems of poverty, the family, sexual violence, and the environmental crisis.


October 25, 2005


John DiIulio, speaker for the tenth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture, was the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, serving as a Democrat in a newly formed office within the Republican Bush Administration. Dr. DiIulio discussed "Forging a Faithful Consensus: The Future of Public-Private Partnerships Involving Community-Based Religious Organizations."

He has served as the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of politics, religion and civil society at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches political science. DiIulio has also been an Assistant to the President of the United States, as well as taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University.


September 19, 2005




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A discussion of the key Constitutional issues surrounding the relationship between church and state in America featured Constitutional scholars Steve Monsma, from the Paul Henry Institute, and Matt Roberts of the Calvin College Political Science Department, with Bill Stevenson (Political Science, Calvin College) moderating the discussion. The lecture was co-sponsored with the Calvin Political Science Department to commemorate U.S. Constitution Day.


July 17 - 23, 2005

The third biennial "Pollsters and Parishioners: A Workshop on Survey Research and American Religion" was held at Calvin College, with twelve graduate students who spent the week listening to presentations, discussing various readings, analyzing data, and presenting their findings. The workshop was led by Corwin Smidt, Lyman Kellstedt and James Guth.

Workshop Participants


May 6, 2005

"Confrontational Politics versus Finding Principled Common Ground" was the second of three case studies in the "Christians Engaging Culture" lecture series (sponsored by the Center for Christian Studies at Gordon College). This Henry Institute seminar featured a case study presented by politician Paul DeWeese, former Republican Representative to the Michigan House of Representatives. While holding office, he successfully promoted a variety of legislative initiatives due to his ability to cross political party lines on the basis of a set of principles informed by his Catholic faith, as well as his skill at forging coalitions amongst fellow politicians holding different religious and secular world views.

Amy Black, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations at Wheaton College responded to DeWeese's comments from her practical experience in legislative interaction and coalition building. Black served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and drew upon those experiences, including insight into the daily work of a Congressional office and the political process involved in moving from principle and societal needs to the final step of a law to address that issue.

A panel discussion including Deweese, U. S. Senator Vern Ehlers, Michigan Senator Bill Hardiman, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and Michigan Representative Jerry Kooiman concluded the event, as each discussed their own experiences and views.


May 5, 2005

Jim Wallis spoke on "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It." In the lecture, he asserted that moral values encompass actions and attitudes toward a host of issues, including poverty, the environment, criminal justice and war. According to Rev. Wallis, evangelical Christians are called to define “moral values” much more broadly than the current trend to look exclusively at wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage, and that religion will be, and should be a factor in American public and political life.

Rev. Wallis is a well known speaker, author, activist and international commentator on ethics and public life. He was a founder of Sojourners: Christians for Justice and Peace, more than 30 years ago and is currently the editor of Sojourners magazine, covering faith, politics and culture. In 1995, Rev. Wallis was instrumental in forming Call to Renewal, a national federation of churches, denominations, and faith-based organizations from across the theological and political spectrum working to overcome poverty. Over the last several years, Wallis has led hundreds of town meetings, bringing together pastors, civic and business leaders, and elected officials in the cause of social justice and moral politics.


April 20, 2005

"Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon?" was presented by Stephen Sizer, Vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water, United Kingdom. Sizer examined how evangelical eschatology has embedded itself in modern political ideology, and challenged evangelical Christians to consider appropriate paths for a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Sizer has served as Vicar at Christ Church for 8 years, and also works with Campus Crusade for Christ and several other mission agencies on short-term projects in Europe and the Middle East. He is chairman of the International Bible Society UK and vice-chairman of the Christian charity known as "Highway Projects," which sends teams of young people to serve in the Holy Land.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice.


March 2, 2005

"Jesus' Politics" was the topic of a lecture given by Dr. Alan Storkey exploring the political significance of Jesus which emerges from the Gospels. The work and study done by Dr. Storkey have confirmed to him that Jesus is the most important political figure in world history and that the political content of the Gospel texts is often both severely understated and viewed only superficially.

Dr. Storkey has worked for several decades in the disciplines of politics, sociology and economics. He co-founded the Movement for Christian Democracy, based in Great Britain, and has taught for twenty years at Oak HIll Theological College in London.


February 10, 2005

Dr. Rebecca Blank spoke on "The Role of Government vs. the Role of Market: Should Christians Have a Different View?" in a lecture co-sponsored by The Henry Institute and the Calvin Economics and Business Department as part of The Ford Motor Company Business Lecture Series.

Dr. Blank is co-director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy, where she also serves as Academic Dean, Professor of Economics and Henry Carter Adams Collegiate Professor of Public Policy. She was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington DC for a number of years, and has written and lectured extensively in areas including poverty, public assistance and welfare, as well as issues surrounding the labor market. She is the author of Do Justice: Linking Christian Faith and Modern Economic LIfe.


January 24, 2005

"America in Iraq: How Will It All End?" was presented by James Skillen from the Center for Public Justice (CPJ). Dr. Skillen has worked with the CPJ since 1981, first as the Executive Director and now as President of the organization.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute, the Calvin Political Science Department, and the Calvin College Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social and Economic Thought.


November 11, 2004

Allen Hertzke

Dr. Allen Hertzke, internationally recognized expert on religion and politics, as well as author, frequent news commentator and international lecturer, presented the ninth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture, speaking on "Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights."

His book (by the same name) provides a window into the changing religious landscape in the United States and globally as religious leaders focus attention on human rights concerns and form unlikely alliances between religious organizations and other interest groups. Dr. Hertzke challenges the assumption that modernization in our world automatically leads to the secularization of society, asserting instead that in the face of global Christianity and renewed activism, the role of faith in individuals' lives is leading in the opposite direction.


October 28, 2004

John Richmond, Director of the International Justice Mission will speak on "The Abolition of Modern Slavery: A Matrix for Applying the Rule of Law to Social Evil." The International Justice Mission (IJM) seeks to help people suffering injustice and oppression who cannot rely on their local authorities for relief. The agency documents and monitors conditions of abuse and oppression, educates the church and the public about those abuses, and mobilizes intervention on behalf of victims.The lecture will be on Thursday, October 28 at 3:30 p.m. in De Vos Communication Center Room 160.


October 14, 2004

"Christian Involvement in U.S. Presidential Elections: American and Global Perspectives" was the topic of a lecture jointly presented by Calvin College's Paul Freston (Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social and Economic Thought) and Corwin Smidt (Paul Henry Chair in Christianity and Politics).


October 7, 2004

Dan Philpott, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, presented "Retributive vs. Restorative Justice within International Relations." Dr. Philpott has worked extensively in the areas of transitional justice; societal methods of addressing past injustices; and seeking to balance truth, justice, reconciliation, and stability. He is a Senior Associate at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.


September 22, 2004

James K. Haveman, who served as the Coalition Provisional Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, addressed the issue of "Reconstructing Post-War Iraq: Challenges and Opportunities." Haveman holds degrees from Calvin College and Michigan State University, has been the recipient of the Calvin College Distinguished Alumni Award, and served as the Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health from 1996 until his appointment to Iraq in January of 2003.


September 9, 2004




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"Between Fundamentalism and Secularization: Church-State Relations in an Orthodox Post-Communist Country, the Romanian Case" was presented by Dr. Silviu Rogobete of the West University of Timisoara, Romania. Dr. Rogobete is one of the co-founders of the Areopagus Centre for Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture in Timisoara, a non-profit organization started in 1997 by a group of Christians concerned with presenting the gospel in a way relevant to today's culture and society.


April 29 - May 1, 2004

The second biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics was sponsored by the Henry Institute, with more than 100 scholars participating in the event.


April 26, 2004

The Rev. Dr. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ, presented the eighth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture on Faith and Politics: "The State of the World as Seen Through the Eyes of the Church." Dr. Edgar has headed the NCCC since January of 2000; was a six-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-PA), and is an ordained elder in the Methodist church and known activist, educator and Christian.


April 19, 2004

Gerald Vandezande, elder statesman of Canadian Christian political advocacy and former National Public Affairs Director for Citizens for Public Justice, along with Mark VanderVennen, Canadian political thinker, social worker, author and playwrite, presented reflections on current "hot button" issues in modern politics. "Followers of Jesus, Doers of Justice: Can There Be Peace and Justice for All in a Polarized and Violent World?" was co-sponsored with the Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice.


April 8, 2004

Larycia Hawkins (Department of Political Science, University of Oklahoma) presented "The Black Church and Politics: Implications for Sacred and Secular Life." The event was co-sponsored with Calvin Multicultural Affairs and Calvin Gender Studies.


April 1, 2004

"The First Vote I Cast, I Cast for Myself: Examining the Connections Between Theology and Black Women's Activism," featured Melissa Harris-Lacewell of the University of Chicago Department of Political Science. The lecture was co-sponsored with Calvin Multicultural Affairs and Calvin Gender Studies.


March 16, 2004

Charles Mast, Calvin College graduate and retired officer of the United States Foreign Service spoke on "Political Changes in Post-Revolutionary Iran: Prospects for Continued Democratization."


March 9, 2004

"Religious Cleavages among Southern Political Activists" was presented by Professor John Clark of Western Michigan University.


February 26, 2004

"Church-State Issues in Post-Soviet Russia" was the topic of the lecture given by Alexei Krindatch. Mr. Krindatch is from the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and has done research on the social and political impact of religious organizations in post-Communist societies.


February 11, 2004

Milay Galvez spoke on "Church-State Relations in Cuba from the Revolution to Today." Ms. Galvez is a Placement Specialist with the Hispanic Outreach Project in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


November 17, 2003

Ghazi Briegieth, a Palestinian Muslim from the West Bank spoke on "Turning the Other Cheek: Seeking Peace in the Palestinian Israeli Conflict." In November of 2000, Mr. Briegieth's two brothers were killed by Israeli soldiers, and he has been actively involved in the quest for a just and lasting peaceful resolution to the conflict since that time. He belongs to the Israeli and Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace.


November 17, 2003

"The Politics of Cultural Differences: Disabling Party Coalitions in Contemporary Campaigns" was presented by Professor David Leege from the Political Science Department at Notre Dame University. Dr. Leege is the co-author of The Politics of Cultural Differences.


October 16, 2003

Professor Jesse Chupp of the Political Science Department at Texas A&M University presented "The Politics of Grace: The Political Implications of Calvin's Theology."


September 30, 2003


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Ron Wells of the Calvin College History Department spoke on "History and Memory: The Fitzroy Presbyterian Church and the Search for Peace in Northern Ireland." The lecture was co-sponsored by the Henry Institute and the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship.


July 19 - 25, 2003

The second "Pollsters and Parishioners: A Seminar on Survey Research and American Religion" workshop was held at Calvin College, with twelve individuals participating.

Workshop Participants


April, 28, 2003
Tim Goglein

Tim Goeglein, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, delivered "Real Challenges: Faith in the Public Arena" for the annual Henry Lecture.

Calvin's News story about Mr. Goeglein's visit.


April 16, 2003

Kuk-Won Shin, visiting scholar in the Communication Arts and Sciences Department, discussed "The 'Culture War' Metaphor Reconsidered: What Christians Should Do Before the Shooting Begins."


April 10, 2003

Eric McDaniel of the University of Illinois spoke on "Politics in the Pews: The Creation and Maintenance of Black Political Churches."


March 26, 2003

Rosetta E. Ross, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and McVay Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities gave a presentation entitled "Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion, and Civil Rights." She spoke about the lives of seven female civil rights activists, and also discussed the stories of some other women which are included in her book, Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion and Civil Rights, which "examine(s) black women's civil rights activism as religiously impelled moral practice, redress(ing) an oversight in previous work . . . and lift(ing) up a paradigm for engagement in the challenges of contemporary social life."


March 12, 2003

Dr. Roger Nemeth of the Hope College Department of Sociology spoke on "The Religious Practices of CRC and RCA Clergy and Parishioners."


February 24, 2003

Dr. Ogbu Kalu, Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity and Mission at McCormick Theological Seminary, gave a presentation entitled: "Faith and Politics in Africa: Emergent Political Theology of Engagement in Nigeria." Dr. Kalu has a distinguished scholarly record. He is a member of the advisory council for the Currents in World Christianity Project at Cambridge University, has held guest professorships at Harvard, Toronto and elsewhere, and has more than 100 scholarly publications.


February 13, 2003

Drs. James Penning and Corwin Smidt of the Calvin College Political Science Department presented: "Solid Rock or Shifting Sand? The Theological Beliefs of CRC and RCA Clergy and Parishioners."


February 11, 2003

David Hilfiker, M.D., an author and a medical doctor, spoke on "Avoiding War with Iraq: Reflections on my Recent Visit to Baghdad."


January 20, 2003

Mr. Jerry Levin spoke on "Christian Peacemaking in the Middle East: Healing the Dysfunctioning Family of Abraham." Mr Levin is a former CNN Bureau Chief in Beirut, and was the first of the so-called forgotten American hostages in Lebanon. Kidnapped on March 7, 1984, he spent nearly a year in solitary confinement until his escape on Valentines Day, 1985. While a hostage, Jerry experienced a spiritual transformation from a "culturally assimilated Jewish-American atheist" to becoming a follower of Jesus. Since May 2002, he has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in the Occupied Territories. Mr. Levin and his wife Sis are active with Every Church a Peace Church, Pax Christi, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and World Peacemakers. Mr. Levin's ordeal is the subject of the film Held Hostage, based on the book Beiruit Diary by his wife Sis, who holds a Ph.D. From Columbia University and is herself a renown educator.


December 3, 2002

Max Laskaris of the U. S. State Department spoke on "The Peace Process in the Democratic Republic of Congo." Mr. Laskaris is a career Foreign Service Officer who has served in Liberia, Botswana, Angola, the Office of Central African Affairs, the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.


November 20, 2002

Dr. Don Luidens of the Hope College Department of Sociology spoke on "Religious Identifications and Loyalties among CRC and RCA Clergy and Parishioners."


November 8, 2002

Paul Liu, the foremost academic on church-state relations in China and former party official in the Chinese government, spoke on the nature of church-state relations in mainline China today.


October 23, 2002

Matthew Dowd, an outside political advisor for the White House and the person in charge of all White House polling, discussed issues surrounding the midterm elections.


October 10, 2002

Michigan State Representative Jerry Kooiman (Republican from the 75th District) and 75th District Democratic Candidate Peter Vander Meulen debated numerous issues prevalent in the ongoing election campaign. Professor Corwin Smidt (Calvin Political Science Department) moderated the debate.


October 9, 2002

Abram VanEngen, a Calvin College McGregor Scholar, spoke on "The Trajectory of Two Mentalities: The CRC-RCA Past and Future."


September 25, 2002


Professors James Penning and Corwin Smidt discussed their latest book "Evangelicalism: The Next Generation."


March 6, 2002

A symposium on "Christian Responses to the War on Terrorism," with Professors David Hoekema and John Hare of Calvin College, Dr. Glen Stassen of Fuller Theological Seminary, Dr. Jim Skillen of the Center for Public Justice, and Dr.Keith Pavlischek of the Civitas program and the Center for Public Justice was cosponsored with the Center for Public Justice, Civitas, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.


April 29, 2002

Stephen Monsma

Professor Stephen V. Monsma of Pepperdine University delivered the Sixth Annual Henry Lecture. Dr. Monsma spoke on "Myths, Lies, and Soundbites: Reactions to President Bush's Faith-Based Initiative."


May 3-4, 2002

The Henry Institute sponsored the first biennial Symposium on Religion and Politics.


November 15, 2001

Samuel Gregg, D. Phil., spoke on "Three Conceptions of Liberty." Dr. Gregg is Director of the Acton Institute's Center for Economic Personalism.


November 12, 2001

Dr. Amy Black of Wheaton College presented "From Consensus to Conflict: Election 2000 and the Faith-Based Initiative."


October 25, 2001


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"Representing Christ in Court: The Politics Of Religious Legal Advocacy, 1970-2000" was the topic of a lecture delivered by Dr. Kevin denDulk of the Grand Valley State University Political Science Department.


April 30 , 2001Paul Hillegonds Paul Hillegonds, former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and current President of Detroit Renaissance, delivered the Fifth Annual Paul Henry Lecture. The lecture was entitled "Faith in Politics."
March 28, 2001

David Ryden of Hope College spoke on "Black Churches as Governmental Partner in Social Service Delivery: Peril or Promise?"


January 18, 2001

Ron Stockton, University of Michigan-Dearborn, presented "Jerusalem and the Middle East Peace Talks."


November 9, 2000

Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in Washington, D.C. discussed the Call to Renewal movement.


November 2, 2000

Sister Helen Prejean spoke on "Dead Man Walking: The Journey." The movie, Dead Man Walking, was based on Sister Prejean's life and work. The lecture was cosponsored with several academic departments at Calvin College.


October 26, 2000

"Snapshots of the 2000 Election" was presented at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in downtown Grand Rapids, with Richard Norton Smith of the Ford Museum and Corwin Smidt and Doug Koopman of Calvin College. the event was hosted by the Ford Museum and sponsored by the Calvin Alumni Association.


October 25, 2000

Lyman Kellstedt, Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College, spoke on "Religion and the Election of 2000."


September 20, 2000

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Douglas Koopman, Program Director, lectured on "Christians in Public Office: Opportunity or Obligation?"


July 20 - 22, 2000

Corwin Smidt, Executive Director of the Paul Henry Institute, delivered three addresses as part of Midsummer at Calvin. The lectures were entitled:

"The Presidential Nomination Process: Is There Any Hope for a Better System?"
"The New Religious Order of American Politics"
"Christians and the Presidential Election of 2000"


July 19, 2000

Dr. Charles Glenn, Boston University, talked about "The Ambiguous Embrace: Government and Faith-Based Schools."


April 17, 2000

U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, noted civil rights leader and member of Congress, delivered the fourth annual Paul B. Henry Lecture, "Struggling Toward the 'Beloved Community'."


April 5, 2000

Dr. David Long, retired State Department officer spoke on "The Legacy of Reformed Church in America Mission Activity in Persian Gulf States."


March 1, 2000

Dr. Michael Budde of DePaul University gave an address, "Chaplain to Caesar: Globalization, Civil Religion, and the Church."


February 9, 2000

Adrian Helleman, Ph.D. of Moscow State University, spoke on "Church and State in Russia Today."


November 15, 1999

A. James Reichley, Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, presented "Religion and Party Politics."


October 20, 1999

"Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America?" was presented by Ed Dobson, pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and former Moral Majority executive.


October 6, 1999

Daniel Levine of the University of Michigan spoke on "The Study of Religion and Politics in Latin America: Are We Getting Better At It?"


October 4, 1999

"Faith and Politics in the Michigan Legislature," a public forum featured eight Calvin alumni who were serving in the Michigan legislature at the time of the event.


September 20, 1999

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Corwin Smidt, Paul B. Henry Chair and Executive Director of the Institute, spoke on "The New Religious Order of American Politics."


March 8, 1999

Two lectures by Dr. Clarke Cochran of Texas Tech University and the Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame were presented:"Responding to the Crisis of Institutions: Christian Vision and Politics" and "The Faces of Health Care Injustice: Christian Responses."


February 18, 1999

"From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate" was discussed by Donald Browning, Alexander Campbell Professor of Religious Ethics and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Divinity School.


April 19, 1999

Dan Coates

The third annual Paul Henry Lecture was delivered by former U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana, entitled "Conservative Compassion: Oxymoron or Opportunity."


October 16-17, 1998

The Henry Institute hosted a major academic conference: "Religion, Social Capital, and Democratic Life".


April 27, 1998

Former U.S. Senator Paul Simon gave the second annual Paul Henry Lecture, entitled "Christianity and Politics: A Personal Reflection."


November 17, 1997J. Budziszewski

J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas-Austin presented the inaugural scholarly lecture at the Henry Institute, entitled "Apostles of Common Grace."

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