Of conferences past and future...

On Monday, June 7th, the First Canadian Tyndale Conference was held in Toronto and hosted by the recently-renamed Tyndale College and Seminary. A small but enthusiastic audience gathered in the Seminary for a day of paper presentations, shared meals and characteristically-lively Tyndalian conversation.

Tyndale College and Seminary President Brian Stiller gave the welcome and the day commenced. Andrew Hope started the papers with a lucid introduction to key issues in the pre-Tyndale English Reformation, including the key role played by the Lollards. Peter Auksi gave a wonderful illustrated presentation on Tyndale and the use of literary and visual caricatures of the age. Capping off the morning was a showing of David Ireson’s wonderful slide presentation on Tyndale’s life and career.

In the afternoon, attendees were treated to the inaugural conference paper presentation of a young scholar named Milton Kooistra, a graduate student at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Toronto. Milton dealt with Erasmus, the papacy and humanistic methods of church reformation. A joint delivery finished the afternoon’s schedule, with fine work by Kristina Bross and Bill Fitzhenry of California Polytechnic University, on the struggle for control of vernacular translations by authorities in England and the American colonies.

Following an evening meal, the group (joined by about twenty Tyndale College students) retired to the chapel for an outstanding paper by our Chairman, Professor David Daniell. He tackled a recent trend in some Reformation studies circles that denies both the scope of a popular Reformation and the role of the Bible in that unfolding event. His voice in this controversy must be heard again and again, and we all hope to read and hear of the power of his argument in various forae to come.

All in all, the one day in Toronto was a fine start. In fact, it has led to initial planning of a major conference in Toronto, planned now for October 2001. Our sincere thanks go to all participants and to Pat Webb, Dean of Lifelong Learning at Tyndale College and Seminary, who helped with all the planning and facilitating of the conference.

An important last word, then, about conferences future - in San Diego, to be specific. Please do begin planning to join us for Tyndale and the Bible in the Reformation, 24-27 February 2000, at Point Loma Nazarene University. Paper, panel, workshop, etc. proposals should be directed to me at my Point Loma address, as soon as possible. Information for attendees will be forthcoming to all Society members in the near future.

Please share the news of the Society in North America and encourage anyone you believe might be interested to inquire about membership and events.

Barry Ryan

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