Conference on Reformation at SVU Nov. 16-17


Educators and religious leaders will gather at Southern Virginia University for a conference on the “Cultural Impact of the Reformation” this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16-17.

“The Reformation has had an enormous impact on Western culture, in way that we may not even notice — music, literature, art, philosophy — not only in religion, explained Jeremiah John, associate professor of politics at Southern Virginia.

“When we start to look the world of the Reformation, it seems foreign to us, but so many things in our world would be different if it had not happened,” John noted.

The free conference, which has been organized by history professor David Cox and English professor James Lambert, joins the SVU community with celebrants across the world in commemorating the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses.

Lectures and discussions this week will feature scholars from five universities and several pastors and clergy from the Catholic and Protestant Churches in the Rockbridge area.

The conference kicks off at 9 a.m. Thursday in the ballroom of Southern Virginia’s Main Hall, and begins with opening addresses by Cox and Lambert. An interfaith panel on the Reformation, with religious leaders from Rockbridge area congregations, will be held at 5 p.m. in the ballroom.

Mark Rankin, associate professor of English at James Madison University, will deliver the conference’s keynote address at Southern Virginia’s weekly convocation, where Rankin will discuss the role of Erasmus and Tyndale in the Reformation. The talk will be Friday at 11 a.m. in the Knight Arena.


Reformation topics to be discussed during the conference include:

• “Covenants and Confessions: Preserving the Scottish Reformation”

• “Literary Highlights of the Reformation in France”

• “Local Confessional Perspectives on the Reformation”

• “LDS Perspectives on the Reformation”

• “Women and the Reformation”

• “Singing the Resurrection, Embodying Belief”

• “Personal Reaction to the Reformation: Academic and Confessional intersections.”

Presenters include Mikki Brock and Genelle Gertz from Washington and Lee University, Peter Eubanks and Mark Rankin from James Madison University, Erin Lambert from the University of Virginia, Dina Al Qassar from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and James Lambert, David Cox, Jeremiah John, Virginia Mosser and Marcel Widzisz from Southern Virginia University. Also appearing on a panel will be protestant and Catholic clergy from the local communities.

The full conference schedule is available online at

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