—Buruma to lecture April 19 on Abraham Kuyper and the Muslim question—

Princeton, NJ, March 29, 2012–Ian Buruma, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College, is the recipient of Princeton Theological Seminary’s 2012 Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. He will receive the award when he delivers the Seminary’s Kuyper Lecture on Thursday, April 19, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Chapel. His lecture is titled “Abraham Kuyper and the Muslim Question.”

ian burumaBuruma was educated in Holland and Japan, where he studied history, Chinese literature, and Japanese cinema.

In 1970s Tokyo, he acted in Kara Juro’s Jokyo Gekijo and participated in Maro Akaji’s butoh dancing company Dairakudakan, followed by a career in documentary filmmaking and photography. In the 1980s he worked as a journalist, and spent much of his early writing career traveling and reporting from all over Asia. He now writes about a broad range of political and cultural subjects for major publications, including The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Corriere della Sera, and NRC Handelsblad.

He was cultural editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong Kong, and foreign editor of The Spectator, London, and has been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and Remarque Institute, New York University. He is currently completing a fellowship at the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library.

He was awarded the 2008 international Erasmus Prize for making an important “contribution to culture, society, or social science in Europe.” That same year he was awarded the Shorenstein Journalism Award, an annual award which “honors a journalist not only for a distinguished body of work, but also for the particular way that work has helped American readers to understand the complexities of Asia.” He was also voted as one of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals by the Foreign Policy/Prospect magazines in 2008 and 2010.           

Buruma’s book Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (Penguin, 2006) was the winner of The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the Best Current Interest Book. His other publications include Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents (Penguin, 2010), Grenzen aan de vrijheid: van De Sade tot Wilders (Lemniscaat, 2010), and Conversations with John Schlesinger (Random House, 2006). 

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) was probably the greatest and most controversial figure in the Calvinist renaissance that took place at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century in the Netherlands. Trained as a theologian at the modernist University of Leiden, Kuyper converted to orthodox Calvinism during his first pastorate. In 1872 he founded a Christian newspaper, De Standard, and was elected a member of parliament in 1874. He was instrumental in the organization of the Anti-Revolutionary Party, a Christian political party, and helped in 1880 to found the Vrije Universiteit (the Free University of Amsterdam), where he regularly served as a professor of theology. In 1901, Kuyper became minister-president of the Netherlands. His worldview, as presented in his hundreds of articles, pamphlets, and books, profoundly affected the development of Reformed theology in the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, South Africa, and Korea.                                                                                            

The Abraham Kuyper Prize is awarded each year through the generous gift of Dr. Rimmer and Mrs. Ruth de Vries to a scholar or community leader who has contributed to the further development of Reformed theology, particularly as it bears on matters of public life, historical or contemporary, in one or several of the spheres of society. The de Vries’s gift also established an endowed faculty chair and a grant fund for graduate students at Princeton Seminary.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications/Publications at 609.497.7760 or visit www.ptsem.edu.  

Celebrating its Bicentennial in 2012, Princeton is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.