Baylor Commemorates Nearly 500 Years of the Reformation with Guest Lecturer

October 15, 2014
Herman J. Selderhuis

Herman J. Selderhuis courtesy photo.

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 15, 2014) -- As Worldwide Protestant institutions prepare for the approaching 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Herman J. Selderhuis, Ph.D., will come to Baylor campus to give a free lecture on why it’s worth celebrating.
On Oct. 31, 1517, with a nail and paper, one monk forever changed organized religion. Many pinpoint Martin Luther’s posting of The Ninety-Five Theses as the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Still, many questions about the Reformation remain:

  • “What do we have to do with a monk that lived five centuries ago and caused a split in the Christian church?”
  • “So, is this jubilee really relevant or is it just fun for tourists, an elite group of scholars and a few elderly, fanatical church members?”
  • “By the way what was this Reformation all about, anyway?”
  • Hosted by the Institute for Studies of Religion, Selderhuis hopes to answer these questions and more in his lecture “The Heart of the Matter: Commemorating 500 Years of the Reformation in Post-Christian Society.” The lecture will take place at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, in Draper Academic Building, Room 116.
    Selderhuis is an internationally known expert on the Reformation and one of the major coordinators of Reformation activity in 2017, said Thomas Kidd, Ph.D., associate director of ISR and professor of history in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences. When ISR heard that he was coming through Texas to speak at another institution, the institute decided to invite him to speak at Baylor as well.
    “It was an excellent opportunity to bring this subject to campus,” Kidd said. “It’s a topic that has importance well beyond just religion or church history classes.”
    A seasoned author of theology and history of the Reformation, Selderhuis holds the position of professor of church history and church polity at the Theological University in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. He is also director of Refo500 and president of the International Calvin Congress.
    Draper is located at 1420 S. Seventh St. in Waco.

    For more information, email David Whitford at
    by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


    Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


    Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute’s mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve.