The Research Centers: Barth, Kuyper, and Scottish Philosophy - Issue 2 (Spring 2014)
The library serves as a hub to three research centers, each of which connects scholars and pastors with collections and conferences of international importance:The Center for Barth Studies, Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy, and Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology.
The Center for Barth Studies
The Center for Barth Studies (CBS), founded in 1997, exists to promote scholarship, conferences, and events related to the theology of Karl Barth. CBS includes a special Karl Barth Research Collection, which is housed in the library and is the largest Barth collection in North America. The goal of the Center is to eventually obtain a copy of every piece of literature written by or about Karl Barth. Each June, CBS facilitates the annual Karl Barth Conference, which places Barth’s theology in constructive and historical conversation with a variety of topics and figures. CBS also supports domestic and international visiting scholars by assisting them with research projects.
CBS is led by Dr. Bruce L. McCormack, director, along with an advisory board comprised of current and previous Princeton Seminary professors. The daily operations of the Center are managed by Kait Dugan, curator of the Barth collection and Nathan Maddox, assistant to the curator as well as two student workers, Tyler Davis and Michael Toy.
The annual 2014 Karl Barth Conference titled “Karl Barth, the Jews, and Judaism” will take place on June 15–18. Plenary speakers will include Victoria Barnett, Eberhard Busch, Ellen Charry, George Hunsinger, Mark Lindsay, David Novak, and Peter Ochs. The conference will also host the first-ever concurrent speaker sessions, which will include a variety of papers to be given by professors and graduate students throughout the world. The conference is free for PTS students. To learn more about the conference, please visit barth.ptsem.edu/. CBS exists to assist with practical and introductory tips for demonstrating how to navigate and understand Barth’s theology as well as to provide a wealth of primary and secondary resources for academic research projects. If you have any questions about Barth’s theology or need help locating Barth materials, stop by CBS during Seminary business hours or email email@example.com.
Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy
Throughout the year, the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy (CSSP) manages and edits the Journal of Scottish Philosophy (JSP), published by Edinburgh University Press. Now in its twelfth volume, the JSP has established a reputation for innovative scholarship, often from younger scholars, on all aspects, authors, and periods of Scottish philosophy, from the 17th to 20th centuries. In addition, the CSSP edits the Library of Scottish Philosophy, a book series published by Imprint Academic. The purpose of the series is to make expertly edited selections affordable and easily accessible to teachers and students. Recent volumes include selections from Thomas Reid, whose philosophical writings greatly influenced The College of New Jersey in the early years of the 19th century, and Scottish Philosophy in America, which documents much of that influence. The fifteenth volume in the series, The Scottish Philosophy of Rhetoric, was published on February 1, 2014.
In the spring of each year, the CSSP organizes a small conference, which attracts participants from all over the world. The March 2014 conference drew presenters from Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium, as well as Scotland and the United States. In addition, there have been three larger conferences organized in collaboration with other learned societies. The CSSP’s first conference in 2007 led to a long-term project—a two-volume, multiauthored history of Scottish philosophy. That project is nearing completion and the two volumes will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015. More information about CSSP can be found at http://www.ptsem.edu/library/cssp/.
Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology
Abraham Kuyper, a hugely influential theologian, church leader, and politician in 19th century Holland, gave the Stone Lectures at Princeton in 1898. Titled “Lectures on Calvinism,” they brought to the English speaking world Kuyper’s brilliant renewal of Calvin’s theological vision, and thereby created “Neo-Calvinism” as a powerful Christian voice. The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology arose out of the centenary celebrations of those lectures organized at Princeton Seminary in 1998. Its work is now greatly assisted by an advisory board that includes Seminary faculty and external experts.
The Center’s most well-known event is the Abraham Kuyper Lecture and Prize, delivered by the recipient of the Kuyper Prize. This prize is awarded to someone who has excelled in his or her chosen sphere, and as a result won recognition for the continuing cultural relevance of the Reformed tradition. The Abraham Kuyper Lecture and Prize opens the annual conference on a theme related to the winner’s work.
The Kuyper Center Conference has steadily become a major event in the neo-Calvinist calendar and attracts participants from many parts of the world. Generous donations by Dr. Rimmer de Vries have made it possible to support participation by a new generation of scholars. Since 2010, revised and edited versions of a selection of the conference papers have appeared in the Kuyper Center Review.
The library now possesses a very extensive Kuyper Collection of primary and secondary material. Additions are regularly added to the collection, which promises to be the finest in the world. A Kuyper Center visiting scholar scheme has recently been inaugurated to facilitate the use of this collection.