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- 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Highlights
November 2, 2017
To commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Princeton Theological Seminary hosted several events over the two day period from October 31st to November 1st. These events included:
The lecture was preceded by a brief concert of choral music. Rebecca Mariman, a soprano soloist specializing in early music, sang two hymns by the 12th century Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen.
The Seminary Singers sang a motet, Tu pauperum refugium, by Josquin des Prez (1450–1521), as well as several verses of Martin Luther’s chorale Vater unser im Himmelreich by 16th and 17th century composers.
This was accompanied by continuo with Noel Werner, director of music at Nassau Presbyterian Church, at the organ. Following the lecture, the entire assembly joined in singing the Lutheran chorale in English, Our Father, God in Heaven Above.
Reformation Hymn Festival
The hymn festival commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Eric Wall, professor of Sacred Music at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas, lead the choirs of Princeton Theological Seminary and Nassau Presbyterian Church. While there was some Reformation favorites, including Martin Luther’s "A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and a Genevan jig from John Calvin’s Psalter, the focus of the festival was on the Reformation as it finds expression today. There were contemporary hymn texts as well as global songs. Musical forms such as counterpoint and mixed meter were explored as metaphors for the ecumenical dialogue between Catholic and Reformed Christians.
The hymn festival was made possible by the David A. Weadon Memorial Fund.
“The Numismatic Luther”—featured a collection of medals and coins commemorating Luther throughout many centuries. The exhibit was on display in the Special Collections (North Wing, Room 2173) of the Princeton Theological Seminary Library through December.
Workshop: “African Christians and the Reformations”
The workshop sought to widen the conversation associated with the Reformations, linked to many strands within the Christian movement(s), by creating space for various African peoples/churches/movements to speak for themselves and offer new forms of scholarship that center the African experience as not marginal to Reformation studies, but vitally important for a fuller perspective on the long Reformations.
The workshop was organized by the World Christianity & History of Religions Program, Department of History and Ecumenics, at Princeton Seminary.