A Whir, Click, and Rustle

Todd Rester, Junius Institute Director

Todd Rester, the director of the Junius Institute, introduces the institute and our new digitization initiative over at the Calvin Seminary website. Click through for the whole thing, but here’s a snippet:

How do you make rare 16th century theological treasures available to students and scholars in the twenty first century? The innovative answer at the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research (www.juniusinstitute.org) sounds like the whir of a robot, the click of a camera, and the rustle of 1,500 pages an hour.

The Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research is a new institute at Calvin Theological Seminary. This institute is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of rare works from the Reformation and post-Reformation era to students and scholars at home and abroad. The hum of these mechanized sounds emanate from an automated book scanner designed by one of the doctoral candidates at Calvin Theological Seminary, Todd Rester, who is also the director of the Junius Institute. “We have an opportunity to present and preserve the rare book holdings of the Hekman Library and the Meeter Center for Calvin Studies in a cost-effective and digital way to make a global impact.”

Todd will be posting more details soon on our proposed plan to digitize a first selection of items from the Hekman Library rare book collection and the holdings of the Meeter Center. But in the meantime, you can also view our digitization project page to see some of the very first works we have digitized.

For more information on the development of the Junius Institute, and ways to support our work, please read this letter from our director.

Muller Festschrift Presented at CTS PhD Anniversary Celebration

Church and School in Early Modern ProtestantismLast Wednesday Calvin Theological Seminary held a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the school’s doctoral program. Part of the agenda included a lecture by Richard A. Muller, the P.J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at Calvin, who also serves as senior fellow of the Junius Institute. Dr. Muller and Dr. Ronald Feenstra were two of the key faculty appointments at the founding of the doctoral program, and Dr. Muller’s talk focused on the past, present, and possible futures of the doctoral program.

After Dr. Muller’s lecture, Dr. Feenstra introduced an item for the event that did not appear on the schedule: the presentation of a Festschrift to Dr. Muller on the occasion of his 65th birthday this past weekend. I served as a co-editor of the volume along with Dr. David Sytsma, the research curator at the Junius Institute, and Dr. Jason Zuidema. The three of us spoke about the volume and presented a copy to Dr. Muller at the event, who was taken by surprise at the gift and treated to a standing ovation.

Richard Muller (holding book) stands with the editors of his Festschrift (from left to right): David S. Sytsma, Jordan J. Ballor, and Jason Zuidema

Richard Muller (holding book) stands with the editors of his Festschrift (from left to right): David S. Sytsma, Jordan J. Ballor, and Jason Zuidema

The Festschrift is published by Brill, and appears as no. 170 in the Studies in the History of Christian Traditions series, a series which was founded by Heiko A. Oberman, who was the doctoral supervisor of Dr. Muller’s own supervisor, David Steinmetz of Duke Divinity School. The theme of the volume is captured by the title: Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism: Studies in Honor of Richard A. Muller on the Maturation of a Theological Tradition. As we write in the acknowledgements and dedication:

The scope and scale of Richard Muller’s influence on more than a generation of scholarship of the Reformation and post-Reformation periods is unlikely to be properly appreciated in the near future. But this volume represents an initial attempt toward that end. The size of this collection of essays produced in his honor is merely emblematic of the literature inspired by his helpfully revisionist career. The variety of the essays, both in terms of content as well as in terms of the institutional affiliations of the authors, speaks to the diverse audiences in which Richard’s insights have found positive reception. In attempting to find a unified theme around which to organize this Festschrift, the dynamic relationship between the church and the academy, between the pulpit and the lectern, was chosen, not because it exhausts the implications of Richard’s work, but because it represents one of the key insights of his approach to the sources.

The volume includes work from 55 different contributors, whose variety of institutional affiliation, geographical location, and research interests speaks directly to the significant of Richard Muller’s intellectual legacy. The volume runs in excess of 800 pages, including a 40 page bibliography of Dr. Muller’s work.

You can view photos from the celebration here, and the video of the entire event is available here. A full list of the contributors to the Muller Festschrift in alphabetical order follows, and you can download a table of contents for the volume here:
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Colloquium Series Opens This Fall

Zürcher-Disputation 1523The Junius Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its Colloquium program, pursued in collaboration with the doctoral program at Calvin Theological Seminary. The Junius Institute Colloquium formalizes on a more permanent basis a long-standing practice of the historical theology doctoral students of holding occasional public talks on Reformation and post-Reformation history. I’ll be serving as project director, and CTS doctoral candidate Jay Collier will be acting as project coordinator.

A major purpose of the Colloquium is to provide doctoral students “an outlet to present research on their dissertations and to be exposed to research projects in progress from graduates and established scholars.”

The Fall 2013 series opens this Friday with a talk from Jay Collier on the topic, “Troubles after Dort: Augustine, Perseverance, and the Real Story of the ‘Arminian’ Richard Montagu.” Details about time, location, and the rest of the Fall schedule are available at the project page.

Save the Date: The 20th Anniversary of the Doctoral Program at CTS

CalvinSemLogoGiven the connections between the Junius Institute and Calvin Theological Seminary, and in particular the relationship between the doctoral program in historical theology at the seminary and the work of the institute, it seems appropriate to note the following “save the date”:

20th Anniversary Celebration of the Ph.D. Program

Save Wednesday, October 9, 2013 for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Calvin Theological Seminary’s Ph.D. Program. There will be a special lecture by Dr. Richard A. Muller from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. in the Auditorium, and a reception in the atrium from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Watch for an official invitation in August 2013.

Dr. Muller is the P.J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at the seminary and a senior fellow with the Junius Institute. Among his many contributions to scholarship and the church, Dr. Muller gave a noteworthy inaugural address at CTS in 1995, “Scholasticism and Orthodoxy in the Reformed Tradition: An Attempt at Definition.”

More details about the program will be posted as they become available.

Defending Dissertations at CTS

I had the privilege yesterday of attending the successful defenses of two Ph.D. candidates at Calvin Theological Seminary under the supervision of Dr. Richard Muller, senior fellow of the Junius Institute and PJ Zondervan professor of historical theology at CTS. These two projects are fine examples of the importance of dissertation research for a variety of reasons, including those highlighted previously by David Sytsma. A number of dissertations from the CTS program are available here.

The first dissertation defense yesterday was by Ted Van Raalte, a contributing editor at the Post-Reformation Digital Library and newly-appointed professor of ecclesiology at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary.

In a dissertation titled, “Antoine De Chandieu (1534-1591): L’un des pères de la scholastique réformée?” Van Raalte explored a number of sources, including Chandieu’s Locus de Verbo Dei Scripto, adversus humanas traditiones, theologice et scholastice tractatus (Bern: Le Preux, 1580). Visit Chandieu’s page on PRDL for other easily accessible digital sources by this significant French reformed figure.


Ted Van Raalte defends his dissertation (Calvin Theological Seminary)

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