The Herman Bavinck Center for Reformed and Evangelical Theology, founded in November 2015, seeks to study and advance the tradition of Reformed theology that inspired the founders of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and that still inspires millions of people all over the world today. This tradition of doing theology, going back to the Swiss Reformation of the 16th century, is not avertive but world-transformative, in that it is has open eyes to society at large and is committed to the common good. Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck serve as excellent examples of this ethos, but many leading theologians from the contemporary Reformed and evangelical world might be mentioned as well. The Center mainly promotes constructive theology with a strong historical anchoring, but it also fosters work in biblical, historical, philosophical, and practical theology with a focus on or from within the Reformed tradition.
The Center aims at pursuing its goal mainly in the following ways:
- through the postgraduate degree programs of the Faculty of Theology: the one-year Master of Theology, the two-year Research Master, and the Graduate School for doctoral studies.
- through annual conferences (usually in June) with both internal and external PhD-students during which work-in-progress is discussed
- through regular (usually: bimonthly) meetings of its members in a research seminar, where dialogue and cross-fertilization on running projects is stimulated
- through close cooperation with the International Reformed Theological Institute and participation in its biannual international scholarly conferences.
- through the provision of hospitality to visiting scholars who study aspects of Reformed and/or evangelical theology
- through the promotion of cutting-edge scholarly research on issues related to Reformed and evangelical theology.
The Steering Committee of the Center consists of the following Professors:
Other staff members associated with the Center include the following Professors:
- Erik A. de Boer
- Eddy van der Borght
- Leon van den Broeke
- Aza Goudriaan
- George Harinck
- Miranda Klaver
- Teun van der Leer
- Stefan Paas
- Wido van Peursen
- Bernhard Reitsma
- Eveline van Staalduine
- Sake Stoppels
- Willem van Vlastuin
The activities of the Center include a specialisation trajectory in the context of a one year master or a two year research master programme at VU. Every year, at least two modules specialising in Reformed theology will be offered. Further specialisation is obtained through a research internship carried out under the supervision of one of the associated staff members of the Center as well as through the master thesis concluding the programme.
To give a glimpse of what can be expected in the master’s programme: during the next semester (Fall 2016) courses that will be taught will include Interrupted by the Spirit. Reformed Pneumatology and Charismatic Renewal, by Prof. Cornelis van der Kooi, and The Theology of Gisbertus Voetius (1589-1676): Inception, Interactions and Influence, by Dr. Aza Goudriaan. Other courses focus on biblical and theological hermeneutics, on the development of research skills, et cetera. Writing a thesis on a subject of one’s preference selected from the history and theology of the Reformed and/or Evangelical tradition is another exciting part of the programme.
Professor C. van der Kooi
Postal address: Faculty of Theology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam