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Hughey Lectures 2017 on Baptist and Anabaptist Peace Witness

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

IBTSC Amsterdam Hughey Lectures in January 2017 were delivered by the internationally renown Baptist historian Dr Ian Randall. The focus of this year lectures was on Baptist and Anabaptist peace witness between the First and Second World Wars. It was good to see more than 40 people gathered for the event, including IBTSC friends and alumni. IBTSC is thankful to Tyndale Seminary who provided their chapel for the conference day.
The first lecture explored British Baptist involvement in the peace movement, and the second lecture analysed the development and role of Bruderhof community as they taught and lived out the message of non-violence. However, the practice of reconciliation and peace was not always easy nor straightforward. Baptist positions fluctuated between statements, such as “we are forced into this war” and “a nation cannot wage a war to the glory of God”. It was also thought provoking to see how changed situations forced a number Baptists – who are, after all, a convictional community – to change their positions regarding war.
In next lecture, the speaker led the audience into a better understanding of Bruderhof community, and their links with Quakers’ peace message. Eberhard Arnold, the founder of the Bruderhof, was well educated and aware of theological and philosophical ideas of the time, but found the convictions of discipleship of Anabaptists to be most relevant for Christian life and practice. These believers, that included members from different denominations, were convinced: “Under no circumstances will any member of our communities join the fighting forces or do any alternative form of service.” However, this caused both political and popular opposition and persecution towards these believers, and they were forced to emigrate to Paraguay. From there, their story continued…
The participants noted how relevant the topic was for the present context in Europe and in the world. Or, in prayerful words of Baptist Times from 21 December 1917: “Lead us back into the paths of peace from which, like lost sheep, so many in these days have gone astray.”

Toivo Pilli

2017 Hughey Lectures Delivered by Ian Randall

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

ian

Wednesday 18 January 2017
First lecture 9:30-10:45, coffee 10:45-11:15, second lecture 11:15-12:30

Ian M. Randall is a Senior Research Fellow of IBTSC Amsterdam and Research Associate of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide.  His is the author of numerous books, including The English Baptists of the Twentieth Century (2005), Rhythms of Revival: The Spiritual Awakening of 1857-1863 (2010), and a study of the Bruderhof Community’s spirituality – Church Community is a Gift of the Holy Spirit (2014).

He will deliver two lectures on the theme of ‘Baptist and Anabaptist Peace Witness: From the First to the Second World Wars’.

Lecture 1

English Baptists and the Peace Movement

 Lecture 2

An Anabaptist Witness: the Bruderhof Community

The event will take place in the Chapel of Tyndale Theological Seminary, Egelantierstraat 1, 1171 Badhoevedorp, Amsterdam.

For further information contact David McMillan mcmillan@ibts.eu

While there is no charge for the lectures, those attending will be required to meet their own travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs in Amsterdam.

Congratulations Dr Blythe

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Dr Blythe prepared and ready for graduation.The staff at IBTS Centre congratulate the Rector on his recent graduation with an MEd (Distinction).

Dr Blythe undertook the programme in order to enhance his understanding and skills in higher education. His research and dissertation were an investigation into the issues of distance supervision of non-resident international students. The outcome of that reserach will enhance the Centre’s capacity to provide a high standard of support for students undertaking PhD research.

Dr Blythe is deeply commited to build on the legacy of the previous two incarnations of IBTS and with his commitment to excellence, lead IBTS Centre Amsterdam in the service of the Christian church in its mission and ministry in Europe and beyond through internationally focused, European based, baptistic theological education.

As staff we are privileged to work with him and under his leadership. Congratulations boss!

Annual General Meeting

Friday, September 30th, 2016

joylee-in-front-of-slideMany of the staff of IBTSC are in Estonia for the European Baptist Federation Council and the IBTSC Annual General Meeting. At this meeting we were able to show a report of the recent promotion/graduation with PhD of Lee Spitzer an Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor of the American Baptist Churches.processionlee-with-supervisors

Graduation

Friday, September 16th, 2016

On Wednesday 31st August 2016 we were pleased to hold a short graduation service at Baptist House to recognise the achievement of our students in the MA in Baptistic Histories and Theologies which we deliver as an approved partner with the University of Manchester.

A number of students were also recognised in their absence: Makoto Tokunda who also achieved a MA with credit and David Keane and Kofi Owusu-Ansah who received the Postgraduate Certificate.

The international nature of IBTSC is made clear in the fact that these four students represented the different countries of the Netherlands, Ghana, Japan, and the USA. Whereas the staff present came from Scotland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Canada and England (Czech Republic).

Intensive Week’s Teaching at IBTSC

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Been a lot going on. During the period 22 August till the 2nd of September we held an intensive teaching week for new and existing students enrolled on our MnixonA programme or part thereof. Here are some of the faces of new and existing IBTSC students and Tim leading one of the units on Faith and Reason.classmatthenrikgabriel

michael

What does it mean to say that we are an “International” Study Centre

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

International TreeI have recently being doing some work on what it means to offer supervision to international, part-time, theological PhD students in a  largely distance learning environment.

What follows is one reflection on this:

IBTSC is not an international study centre because we are a national institution with international students which is the way the term is often used in Higher Education discourse. Rather, for us the term indicates something more complex than that. It represents the fact that we are a meeting place of students and supervisors who come from different countries, often researching in their own local situations but bringing their contextual work into conversation with others from different situations to offer a richer texture and perspective. The learning involves “transculturation” in that it does not simply go one way, from one dominant culture to another, but rather all involved in the dialogue both teach and learn through this interaction.

National identities remain important, difference is not denied or negated, such can be oppressive, but in so far as all our identities are constantly being made and remade the interaction is part of that process of making us somewhat more “international” than we would be without the experience. At the very least we become more informed about other contexts, at best we begin to understand the limits and the strengths of our own identity in relation to a wider picture of global humanity.

To be sure in all of this our faith offers us a common denominator but even our faith is culturally embodied and expressed so this becomes another place of international encounter: commonality, difference, and “(re)formation”. In these ways the learning at IBTSC takes place in a particular “ecosocial” environment (to borrow a phrase from Bill Green “Unfinished business: subjectivity and supervision”) where the international is explicit.

If as we sometimes claim believer’s baptism is the baptism into a new humanity which transcends national identity although finds expression  in such national identities, IBTSC aspires to reflect something of the complexity of that reality in the international learning and teaching context we offer.

[The educational literature from which I drew and with which engaged in this blog post includes:

Green, B. (2005) Unfinished business: subjectivity and supervision. Higher Education Research & Development, Vol. 24 (2), pp. 151-163.

Manathunga, C. (2007) Intercultural Postgraduate Supervision: Ethnographic Journey’s of Identity and Power in Palfreyman, D. and McBride, D.L. (eds.) Learning and Teaching Across Culture in Higher Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Trahar, S. (ed.) (2011) The Doctorate: International Stories of the UK Experience, ESCalate. [Online]. Available at https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/8137.pdf [Accessed 4th July 2016].

Blythe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Edition

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the latest copy of the Journal of European Baptist Studies.

JEBS-cover-generic

As Keith Jones indicates in A Dictionary of European Life and Thought one purpose for this Journal was to encourage the work of young and new scholars. With varying degrees of experience behind them all contributors to this edition are PhD research students with IBTSC. If you would like to know more about this Journal please visit our website here.

Encouraging and facilitating the publication of their research students is one of the features of the IBTSC PhD research studies programme. If you wish to know more about our PhD studies research programme please look here.

Here is the editorial from this current Journal edition. 

This edition of JEBS contains three different but equally interesting articles related to distinct facets of Baptist life and work. These are produced by three of our current IBTSC PhD research students and represent aspects of their study and areas of ministry and mission.

Alex Kammon To presents something of a historical account of ‘Baptists meeting the Education Needs of Hong Kong between 1842 and 1970’. As such he gives fresh information of a location, situation, and subject which has hitherto received limited treatment. This description, however, also highlights areas of tension related to the provision of education as an expression of mission. These areas include the extent to which the churches should cooperate with the State, the extent to which evangelism rather than education should be regarded as the primary activity, and differences in perspective on these issues between the Hong Kong Baptists and the Southern Baptist Mission Board and missionaries.

Christopher Schelin in his article discusses the practice of ‘congregational hermeneutics’ as an expression of Anabaptist and Baptist polity. While sketching the historical antecedents of this practice, its demise, and rediscovery, his particular concern is with ‘how’ such hermeneutics can be facilitated. Schelin argues that the ‘circle process’ is particularly suited to this task as it is an approach which can ‘inoculate against both hierarchicalism and clericalism, on the one hand, and individualist anarchism on the other’. In this discussion of the suitability of the circle method for congregational hermeneutics connections are made with the idea of a ‘covenant’, the ‘magisterium-hood of all believers’, and the intriguing potential role of one named a ‘librarian’.

Rupen Das in his articles addresses theological and missiological issues related to the present refugee crisis although pointing out that such displacement is not a new phenomenon. In particular he explores why God has a particular concern for such ‘poor’ people. He argues that displacement is a result of structural evil and sin and dehumanises the individuals and families who experience it. God’s response, accordingly, is one of compassion with the concern to redeem them. From this perspective he then offers a number of missiological perspectives not least in relation to Christian witness to and among particularly Muslim refugees. These perspectives include an emphasis upon the importance of local congregations demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

 

Rev Dr Stuart Blythe (Rector IBTSC Amsterdam)