Norman Kansfield, president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, will deliver the 15th A.J. Muste Memorial Lecture at Hope College on Tuesday, April 4, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The A.J. Muste Memorial Lecture began in 1985 on
the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of A.J.
Muste, a 1905 graduate of Hope College. Muste went on to
become one of the most well-known and influential peace
activists in the United States, working for many years as
the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Kansfield has been president and John Henry
Livingstone Professor of Theology at New Brunswick
Theological Seminary since 1993. He is an especially
appropriate Muste Lecturer, according to lecture coordinator
Professor Donald Cronkite, since Muste attended New
Brunswick Theological Seminary from 1906 to 1909.
Kansfield's lecture is titled "'Church' and
'Gospel:' A.J. Muste's Legacy for Today's Crucial
Conversations." He is especially interested in Muste's
critique of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary that he
attended at the beginning of the century and some of the
inadequacies Muste found for preparing pastors for the world
they would encounter. He will apply that critique to some
of the critical conversations the church is encountering at
the beginning of this new century.
With degrees from Hope College, Western
Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary and the
University of Chicago, Kansfield began his career as a
pastor in New York and Illinois before becoming assistant
librarian and then librarian at Beardslee Library at Western
Theological Seminary from 1974 to 1983. He then was
director of library services and associate professor of
church history at Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley
Hall/Crozier Theological Seminary and St. Bernard's
Institute before assuming the Presidency of New Brunswick
Theological Seminary in 1993.
Following his graduation from New Brunswick
Theological Seminary in 1909, Muste was ordained a pastor in
the Reformed Church in America. He served churches in New
York until he found himself in opposition to World War I and
resigned his pastorate in 1914. There followed a span of
years in which Muste was a labor organizer and radical
socialist educator until 1936, when he returned to the
church after a religious experience in Paris. From then
until his death in 1967, Muste worked in active opposition
This year's Muste Lecture is supported by the A.J.
Muste Lectureship Fund, the Cultural Affairs Committee and
the Office of the Provost.