Tracing the Lines: Spiritual Exercise and the Gesture of Christian Scholarship

ICS is pleased to announce the publication of Tracing the Lines: Spiritual Exercise and the Gesture of Christian Scholarship by Robert Sweetman, ICS' H. Evan Runner Chair in the History of Philosophy. This book is the first in a new series incubated at ICS' Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics, entitled Currents in Reformational Thought. Tracing the Lines explores what Christian scholarship is and should be, with an eye to locating historical resonances with the rich varied tradition of two thousand years of Christian scholarship. Locating his own thought within the reformational intellectual tradition, Sweetman shows how a variety of historical streams of Christian thought have all contributed to informing a contemporary understanding of Christian scholarship. In the end, Sweetman offers an understanding of Christian scholarship as scholarship attuned to the shape of our Christian hearts.

Find it on: Wipf and Stock

Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation: Essays in Reformational Philosophy

Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation: Essays in Reformational Philosophy. Lambert Zuidervaart. McGill-Queen's University Press. April 2016.

Find it at: McGill-Queen's University Press

Also see: Ground Motive symposium responding to the book

Publisher's Overview:

Reformational philosophy rests on the ideas of nineteenth-century educator, church leader, and politician Abraham Kuyper, and it emerged in the early twentieth century among Reformed Protestant thinkers in the Netherlands. Combining comprehensive criticisms of Western philosophy with robust proposals for a just society, it calls on members of religious communities to transform harmful cultural practices, social institutions, and societal structures.

Well known for his work in aesthetics and critical theory, Lambert Zuidervaart is a leading figure in contemporary reformational philosophy. In Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation - the first of two volumes of original essays from the past thirty years - he forges new interpretations of art, politics, rationality, religion, science, and truth. In dialogue with modern and contemporary philosophers, among them Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, J├╝rgen Habermas, and reformational thinkers such as Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and Hendrik Hart, Zuidervaart explains and expands on reformational philosophy’s central themes. This interdisciplinary collection offers a normative critique of societal evil, a holistic and pluralist conception of truth, and a call for both religion and science to serve the common good.

Illustrating the connections between philosophy, religion, and culture, and daring to think outside the box, Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation gives a voice to hope in a climate of despair.

Changing to Stay the Same: Meditations on Faithfulness and the Witness of the Institute for Christian Studies

Changing to Stay the Same: Meditations on Faithfulness and the Witness of the Institute for Christian Studies. Robert Sweetman. Allyson Carr and Ronald A. Kuipers, editors. Institute for Christian Studies. 2014

This book collects fifty-two of Bob’s reflection pieces that were written over the course of several years for the ICS electronic newsletter Channel 229. Organized according to the seasons of the church calendar, the collection is intended as a devotional companion through the year, and is dedicated with gratitude to our support community.

On Being a Reformational Philosopher: Spirituality, Religion, and the Call to Love

Lecture to the ICS "Scripture, Faith, and Scholarship" seminar. Lambert Zuidervaart. November 14, 2014.

• Watch the videos below.

• Read the paper in the ICS Institutional Repository.


A Christian philosopher continually seeks to align the spiritual orientation of his or her philosophical practices and their results with the scriptures-within-worship of the Christian community, insofar as this authoritative touchstone discloses the God of love—preferably doing this within a religiously inflected tradition of scholarship—while remaining vigilant in the pursuit of alignment and open to having one’s philosophy spiritually reoriented by God’s self-disclosure.

Christian philosophy is a spiritually oriented response, both in practices and in results, to the God of love, faithful to the scriptures-within-worship, and ever open to the surprising ways in which God calls and guides and inspires us to follow Jesus along the pathways of love.