Resources for a Christian worldview

AoLR International Seminars Project

All of Life Redeemed – International Seminars Project

The Christian confession that God has made all things and redeems all things drives our initiative to make the rich resources of the Reformational movement more widely available. The grand Biblical vision of Abraham Kuyper that there is no inch of creation (represented in our logo) which is not claimed by Christ the Lord led to the further development of insight into God’s creation. From this came the philosophical conceptions of Herman Dooyeweerd and Dirk Vollenhoven, and the work of Christian scholars in multiple disciplines who used these insights to stimulate and develop a distinctive approach to scholarship through following Christ in every area of life.

There have been many who have benefited from the richness of this Christian tradition, and who have sought to live out the call of Christ to follow him in everything we do, using this tradition to explore and disclose the often hidden spiritual disobedience that lies at the root of human life, even for Christians. This has led to the development of a deep legacy of insight and wisdom that we wish to pass on to others, to aid and strengthen them in the call which goes out afresh to every generation in every land, to follow and obey Christ in everything that we do.

The need for this insight should already be obvious, given the tectonic shifts in Christianity, where the churches and related institutions in the global South are thriving and seeing unprecedented growth while their western counterparts are collectively on a steep decline. If the Reformational movement is to commend the vision of reforming all areas of life to the next generation, it cannot afford to ignore these developments.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has become an occasion for us to explore new ways of connecting, communicating and learning. This is the occasion of the birth of a Steering Committee for the establishment of an International Academy for “All of Life Redeemed” (AoLR).

The name of the planned academy is taken from a long-standing website established by Steve Bishop that, for many years, has served as a reference point for the work of many Christian scholars laboring within the tradition of Reformational philosophy.

The International Academy of “All of Life Redeemed” (AoLR) is pleased to announce that it will be offering a programme of activities to introduce the range and depth of insight arising from the Reformational vision into our common human calling to care for the creation and to develop its riches as faithful stewards of God.

Activities to be offered from time to time include:

  • Short courses of between 4-10 sessions
  • Book reading groups
  • One-off seminars
  • One-to-one mentoring
  • Interviews with Christian leaders in various fields
  • Panel discussions

These activities will be offered using on-line communication tools such as Zoom and Jitsi, with opportunities for further engagement by email or other means of contact. As these activities will be offered internationally, times will vary depending on local time zones. Those leading the activities will come from wherever on earth there are people with contributions to make, with participants also drawn from all parts of the earth.

The first activity will be a reading group which will undertake a facilitated discussion of Herman Dooyeweerd’s essay “The secularisation of science.” Our hope is that this reading group will serve as a model for a regular activity of the planned Academy that may be carried out by various qualified reading group leaders using online or face-to-face meetings.

Activities under consideration include:

  • a symposium on the rise of populist politics around the world in the era of pandemics, with key Reformational thinkers as discussants
  • a seminar on key sociologists, with a view to understanding the perspective from which they are working, using the lens of a Christian philosophical perspective.
  • A series of study sessions on redemptive-historical-covenantal reading of the Bible
  • A reading group working through Science and Grace by Tim Morris and Don Petcher
  • An introduction to Herman Dooyeweerd’s theory of international relations and legal and political philosophy using the pandemic as a case study.

We will be seeking to upgrade the “All of Life Redeemed” website to better support and facilitate our planned activities, and to make available a wider range of media content such as video recordings of seminars. We will be exploring the development of a mobile app for easier dissemination of content to a wider range of audiences, especially those from the younger generation of students and scholars.

The Steering Committee is initially composed of like-minded individuals from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. In the near term, it plans to enlist the assistance of key figures of Reformational philosophy scattered in different parts of the world to put to reality this renewed vision.

Those involved in the initial development stages are:

New Zealand – Chris Gousmett and Alan Cameron

Australia – Bruce Wearne and Christine Boshuijzen - van Burken

Singapore – Lay Hendra Wijaya

The Philippines – Romel Bagares

South Korea – Liza Lansang-Espinoza

United Kingdom – Steve Bishop, Richard Gunton and Richard Russell

While the Board members will lead short courses and seminars from time to time, the International Academy will also draw on a panel of speakers from around the world with expertise in various areas, who are proficient not only in their disciplines but also in the Reformational tradition which we wish to promote.