Finding similarities between Calvinism and feminism

By Tracy Simmons

On the heels of theologian John Calvin’s 500th birthday, Whitworth University political science professor Julia Stronks will present her first Lindaman Chair lecture, “If a Calvinist had Coffee with a Feminist,” at 7 p.m. on March 28, according to a press release.

Time Magazine has called “new Calvinism” one of the 10 most influential areas of thought affecting the world currently. During her lecture, Stronks will demonstrate common ground between feminism and Calvinism by focusing on public policy issues that are important to both of them. She says that Calvinist theology provides an intellectual way to think about the role of government and other institutions in society, while feminism highlights injustices of which many Christians are unaware.

“I grew up in the Christian Reformed Church, which means that for me the teachings of scripture were framed through the lens of John Calvin’s perspective,” Stronks said. “But, I am also a woman who has benefited from the work of feminists and I am indebted to them for making room for me to engage in my own calling as a scholar.”

Stronks’ research focuses on faith, law and public policy. During her four-year tenure as Lindaman Chair, she will be working on several projects related to immigration; sex trafficking; high school curriculum that emphasizes citizenship and life-long learning; employment rights of faith-based institutions; and what it means to be a Christian lawyer. A number of students are working with Stronks on these projects.

The lecture will be held at Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth. Admission is free. For information call (509) 777-4937.


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