“Reformations often come when they’re least expected.”
Concordia College was honored to welcome Heath W. Carter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History at Valparaiso University, as guest speaker at the Jacobson Global Lecture Series on November 1st. Dr. Carter was warmly introduced by his friend and former colleague, Rev. Dr. John A. Nunes, Concordia President. Before the lecture began, President Nunes also introduced Kathryn Kors-Jacobson, wife of the late Dr. David C. Jacobson, former Provost and Professor of Philosophy at Concordia College and founder of the lecture series later named for him, honoring his keen interest in world ideologies, religions, history and politics.
Dr. Carter brought his impressive knowledge of history to the evening’s theme of reformation, weaving together deep dives into points in time and locations throughout the world to support his thesis that reformation is not an event, but rather an ongoing process. Fascinating insights into the relationship between reformation and Christianity – far beyond Martin Luther – included the legal and political foundations for the role white Christians played in slavery and racism in America, and how the story of reformed Christianity here was largely written by enslaved people and developed by their descendants. Dr. Carter also illuminated the profound reformations that translating the bible into the world’s native languages has had, and the ability of ordinary people to effect reformation at a local level.
Questions from the engaged audience touched on the importance of history education, the role of Christian missionaries, and finding a shared set of facts as a basis for mutual understanding. The evening ended with a reminder from Dr. Carter: “Reformations often come when they’re least expected.”