The Future of Reformations Past
The year 2017 saw worldwide celebrations and retrospectives of the sixteenth-century reformations in the Christian church—reformations that gave rise to Protestant churches and also reform within the Catholic Church. Rather than offering another retrospective look at these momentous events, the 2018 Berkley Lecture, featuring William Schweiker of the University of Chicago, explored the possible future impact of the reformations, especially the Protestant Reformation. The turmoil of the sixteenth century gave rise to the Enlightenment world that has advanced human progress through the economic, political, and technological revolutions of the last few centuries. Yet this same progress is now dialectically suspect since it has simultaneously unleashed a range of modern injustices.
This lecture assessed the religious forces at work in these global dynamics and how, if at all, the future might be better forged by drawing on resources of the divergent and conflicting reformations.