Adult Education – October 2017

500 Years of Reformed and Always Reforming

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed Ninety-Five Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, protesting the sale of indulgences. “Here I stand, may God help me, Amen.” Help us celebrate 500 years of reformation by exploring aspects of the reformation and its effect on art and literature.

Sundays, 9:15 a.m, in the Assembly Room unless otherwise noted.

For a look at Adult Education offerings through October, download the brochure: AE Sep-Oct 2017 (pdf).


Art and the Reformation

Holly Borham

October 1

The “image question” was a central one in the Reformation. When Martin Luther and John Calvin critiqued altars, relics, pilgrimages and visual opulence, they struck at the heart of Catholic practice and its system of sacred economy. To what exactly were these reformers objecting, and how did their followers interpret their statements about religious imagery? Did Luther and Calvin free us from superstition, did they unleash ugly, destructive tendencies, or did they invent “art” as we know it today – an aesthetic object which we contemplate, rather than worship? Explore these provocative questions by looking carefully at texts, paintings, prints and sculptures from the sixteenth century in order to evaluate the Reformation’s impact on the arts.

Holly Borham is a PhD candidate in Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Her research examines art commissioned by Reformed, Lutheran and Catholic patrons in Germany at the turn of the seventeenth century.


Ongoing through May 13

In-Depth Bible Study: First Corinthians

George Hunsinger

9:15 AM
Maclean House

George Hunsinger returns for the 21st year to lead this verse-by-verse examination of the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Bibles are available for use during the class. Find them on the Deacon Desk by the church kitchen. Class meets next door in Maclean House (Garden Entrance).


The 95 Theses – What Are They?

Miles Hopgood

October 8

Come hear about “what started it all,” the document that Martin Luther wrote and attached to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, challenging Catholic doctrine, specifically, the practice of selling ‘indulgences’ to wash away sins. This document started a movement that, ultimately, became the foundation for the Protestant Reformation.

Miles Spencer Hopgood is a PhD Candidate in History & Ecumenics at Princeton Theological Seminary. His current research centers on Martin Luther’s interpretation of the Bible, particularly his engagement with the Old Testament. Further interests include medieval and early modern Jewish-Christian relations as well as the modern ecumenical movement. His dissertation focuses on “How Luther Regards Moses: The Lectures on Deuteronomy.”


Selling the Reformation: Media and the Making of Religious Revolution

Alastair Bellany

October 15

Martin Luther was the first heretic of a new media age — the age of the printing press — and the exploitation of media, both new and old, played a crucial role in the dissemination of Protestant theology and polemic. This class explores two case studies of the role of the media in the early Reformation. The first focuses on the use of (sometimes obscene) printed graphic satire by Lutheran propagandists in Germany. The second explores the 1530’s multimedia campaign mounted by Henry VIII’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, to convince English audiences of the legitimacy of the new royal supremacy over the Church and to defend the regime’s incremental evangelical reforms of religious life and practice.

Alastair Bellany is Professor of History at Rutgers University, and works on the political and cultural history of Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Britain. He is the author most recently of The Murder of King James I, co-written with Thomas Cogswell, and published by Yale University Press.


Children’s Health in Malawi

Mphatso Nguluwe

12:15 p.m., Assembly Room
Bagels and coffee provided

Mphatso Nguluwe, International Peacemaker from Malawi, will offer us a picture of her work for the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has implemented initiatives for increasing the quality of life for children living with HIV and preventing parent-to-child transmission of HIV. She also promotes gender equity and equality for boys and girls, works to prevent child trafficking, and serves as a researcher in community development work.

Mphatso Nguluwe serves as Director of the Livingstonia Synod Aids Programme for the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian. She is a founding member of an initiative aimed at eliminating the cultural practices which put girls at risk of multiple abuses as well as HIV infection. She holds degrees in Midwifery from Queens University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and in Nursing Education, Administration and Community Nursing Science from the Medical University of Southern Africa.


The Reformation Debates: Who? What? Where?

Miles Hopgood

October 22

Explore debates between Martin Luther and John Eck, and their respective allies, to understand just how significant a challenge Martin Luther was posing to contest years of Catholic teaching. Heidelberg, and Leipzig, Germany, set the stage for what proved to be a dramatic series of confrontations of perspective on: 1) law and the gospel, 2) the fallibility of humankind, and 3) Jesus as sole Head of the Church.

Miles Spencer Hopgood is a PhD Candidate in History & Ecumenics at Princeton Theological Seminary. His current research centers on Martin Luther’s interpretation of the Bible, particularly his engagement with the Old Testament. Further interests include medieval and early modern Jewish-Christian relations as well as the modern ecumenical movement. His dissertation focuses on “How Luther Regards Moses: The Lectures on Deuteronomy.”


Reformation Influence on 16th- and 17th-Century Literature

Russ Leo

October 29

Examine the poet George Herbert’s collection The Temple, a magnificent artistic achievement that reveals the impact of the Reformation on English letters. We will pay particular attention to Herbert’s depictions of Christ through which he attempts to unite diverse congregations in an age marked by division and religious war.

Russ Leo, originally from Rochester, New York, received his PhD from the Program in Literature at Duke University where he studied Reformation poetics and their impact across seventeenth century Europe. Leo came to Princeton University in 2009–first, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Society of Fellows and, after 2012, as an Assistant Professor in the English Department.


Medical Mission Malawi: Saving Lives with Villages in Partnership

Barbara Edwards

12:15 p.m., Assembly Room
Bagels and coffee provided

Barbara Edwards will speak about her trip to Malawi in May with Villages in Partnership’s medical mission group. Hear how twenty-four Americans worked with local Malawians to create four pop-up medical clinics that served over five thousand people in three days.

Barbara Edwards is a general internist with a private practice at The University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. She is also the Medical
Director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center, which serves over 8000 patients, many uninsured or underinsured. Edwards worked in Liberia, West Africa, in 1988 as a medical student and has always wanted to return to work in Africa. “When Steve Heinzel-Nelson came to speak at Nassau about Villages in Partnership, I knew God was calling me to serve.”


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