24 June 2015

Convivium 2015 Part 7: The Last and the Least

I won't promise not to post anything else on this year's Convivium again sponsored by by The Davenant Trust and The Calvinist International (follow TCI's Twitter account @ReformedIrenics). It will be, however, my final post on the papers that were presented. (You can find a convenient list of all the papers here.)

Last but not least among the presentations was one by Joel Carini, currently a student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Joel titled his presentation "Protestantism and Political Liberalism." It was, in short, an effort to read John Rawls's final work, Political Liberalism, through the lens of a Reformed Two-Kingdoms approach to the place of the Church and Christians in the world of contemporary late-Liberal polities. I truly wish I could say more about Joel's presentation but by late in the second afternoon of presentations, and a day and a-half of great conviviality,  I found myself less attentive than I like to admit. But never at a loss to promote myself, interested readers can find my paper, Principled Pluralism and Contract Remedies (download here) in which I spend a couple of pages considering the inadequacy of a Rawlsian justification for--of all things--awarding damages for breach of contract.

Least, at least in the person of its presenter, was the paper by Ruben Alvarado that suffered greatly from Ruben's regrettable absence. In lieu of a presentation by someone who knew what he was talking about was a bare reading by me. I had read the paper, "Abraham Kuyper vs. Philipp Hoedemaker: Rival Models of Reformed Political Theology", beforehand and found it very insightful on an issue of ecclesiology of late nineteenth/early twentieth century Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper. 

Hoedemaker was Kuyper's contemporary who believed Kuyper's departure from the state church unnecessary and who strongly criticized Kuyper's conceptual separation of the church as institute from the church as organism. In Hoedemaker's opinion, Kuyper's conceptual separation both depreciated the work of the church as institute and lead to its politicization by practically prioritizing the organism concept. I won't belabor my readers except to state that I found in Alvarado's paper an answer to a question about a peculiarity of Dordt College, my undergraduate alma mater, that had been lurking in my subconscious for almost 40 years.

All in all, another great round of intellectual stimulation and personal camaraderie. Everyone should consider buying the book of papers when it's published later this year.

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