Tyndale International Conference

Antwerp Conference Update

Tardy Tyndalians - and those who wait for dry weather before deciding to go adventuring - can take heart there are still places at the 4th International Tyndale Conference in Antwerp 30 August - 3 September, but only just. AND a favourite local joke is ‘You think it rains in England? It rains MUCH more here!’ So pack mac & brolly, flat shoes for the cobbles (though no conference venues are more than 15 minutes apart), start a diet against the excellent cuisine, and sign up for the Conference. Some of the highlights of a truly international, interdenominational event are:

Professor David Daniell, Chairman of the Tyndale Society, will introduce the principal Keynote Speaker Professor Brad Gregory of Stanford University, a rising star of reformation studies whose prize-winning book Salvation at Stake explores how martyrs Catholic, Protestant and Anabaptist met the fire. His theme will be the notorious Tyndale/More controversy, their divergent views of sanctity and thus of truth.

The Low Countries home team is strongly represented by scholars including K.U.Leuven theologian Professor Dr Matthijs Lamberigts and Louvain- la-Neuve Calvin specialist Professor Jean-Francois Gilmont (their 16th century colleagues convicted Tyndale, remember). From our associates at the Lessius Hogeschool, we have a specialist in the history of Antwerp, Dr Gerrit De Vylder and a specialist on the Dutch Bible translations, Professor Paul Gillaerts. Dr Guido Latré with Paul Arblaster and Gergely Juhasz will introduce us to their large-scale project on Tyndale in the context of Antwerp vernacular bibles.

From Cambridge, we will hear from Professor Richard Rex and from Dr Tom Freeman who has been described as “virtual Foxe”; while another speaker, Professor David Loades, is involved in the prestigious British Academy’s Foxe project – publishing in complete form for the first time Acts and Monuments (popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs). Among a hornets’ nest of historians and literary scholars there are contributions from Dr Helen Parrish of Reading, Professor Meg Twycross of Lancaster and Dr Amanda Piesse of Trinity College, Dublin and Dr Vivienne Westbrook from the National University of Taiwan.

Giants of the Reformation will be discussed by Professor Peter Auksi of the University of W. Ontario who will speak on Erasmus and Tyndale, and Professor Richard Duerden of BYU on Luther: while Father Jos Vercruysse, SJ will chair a panel of 3 papers - Prologues to Tyndale’s Hexateuch - from Anglican Revd Ralph Werrell (who recently completed a doctorate on Tyndale’s theology), Sister Anne O’Donnell, SND of the Catholic University of Washington DC, and Sussex University historian, Dr Brian Cummings.

Dr Deborah Pollard will dazzle us with 21st century technology in her preview powerpoint demonstration of the Concordance to the Tyndale Bible which she has produced on CD-ROM (publication details eagerly awaited): and Kaoru Yamazaki of Meijigakuin University, Tokyo will compare the bible post-Gutenberg with the bible in the world of PCs.

To refresh us, on Sunday evening The English Chamber Choir will give a concert in the beautiful 18th century Lessius chapel - ’Music from the Golden Age’ that Tyndale might have heard in his Antwerp years, plus later music inspired by his words. The programme includes some rare pieces from the Low Countries.

On Monday the Conference continues in the humanist setting of the lovely Plantin-Moretus Museum, exclusively reserved for us, where between

Tyndale's execution
Tyndale’s execution as portrayed in the 1657 edition of Haemstede’s Dutch Book of Martyrs, one of the 120 exhibits in ‘Tyndale’s Testament’.

lectures and prior to the opening we will be free to examine the important international exhibition ‘Tyndale’s Testament’, curated and catalogued by Dr Guido Latré (details elsewhere in this Journal).

Thomas Bodley
A burin engraving of Christopher Plantin 1572

Later we will cross to the Cathedral of Our Lady where, under worldfamous paintings by Rubens (including his masterpiece ‘Descent from the Cross’), in the presence of the Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, the Church of England’s Bishop in Europe, and Monsignor Van den Berghe, Catholic Bishop of Antwerp, the Anglican service of Evensong, written by Cranmer, will be celebrated by Canon Dirk van Leeuwen, with The English Chamber Choir. The Bishop in Europe will give the bidding prayer, and the Bishop of Antwerp, at whose express invitation this historic worship is being held, will speak in commemoration of Tyndale ‘A Martyr from another Faith’.

Following the official announcement in the Cathedral of the opening of ‘Tyndale’s Testament’, we will walk over to the historic renaissance Town Hall for a reception as guests of the Mayor. To end the evening there is an optional dinner in mediaeval cellars of the type used in Tyndale’s time to store English wool.

On Tuesday 3 September an optional day’s excursion to sites associated with Tyndale (Louvain and Vilvoorde/Brussels) still has places available.

Please contact Mary Clow for last minute registration e-mail: maryclow@aol.com tel. +44 (0)20 7221 0303 or write to 17 Powis Terrace, London W11 1JJ. You can also check our website: http://www.tyndale.org/antwerp

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