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Reformed Public Theology

A Global Vision for Life in the World

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The Reformed tradition in the twenty-first century is increasingly diverse, dynamic, and deeply engaged in a wide variety of global and public issues, from the arts and business to immigration and race to poetry and politics. This book brings together the insights of a diverse group of leading Reformed thinkers--including Nicholas Wolterstorff, Makoto Fujimura, Bruce Ashford, John Witvliet, Ruben Rosario Rodriguez, and James K. A. Smith--to offer a contemporary vision of the depth and diversity of the Reformed faith and its global public impact.


Introduction: Toward a Reformed Public Theology Matthew Kaemingk
Part 1: Public Culture
1. Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers: The Migratory Beginnings of Reformed Public Theology Rubén Rosario Rodríguez
2. Let Every Tongue Confess: Language Diversity and Reformed Public Theology James Eglinton
3. African Decolonization and Reformed Theology Nico Vorster
4. The Dutch and Death: Pastoral Observations and Theological Reflections Margriet van der Kooi and Cornelis van der Kooi
5. Religious Pluralism in Indonesia: Reformed Reflections N. Gray Sutanto
Part 2: Public Markets
6. A Reformed Theology of Work in New York Katherine Leary Alsdorf
7. Political Economy in Brazil: A Reformed Response Lucas G. Freire
Labor Rights
8. Workers' Rights in China: A Reformed Case for Labor Unions Agnes Chiu
Part 3: Public Justice
9. Modern Political Ideologies: A Reformed Alternative Bruce Riley Ashford and Dennis Greeson
10. Power Politics in the Philippines: A Reformed Response to the Populism and Violence of Duterte Romel Regalado Bagares
11. Reflections from a Reformed Activist Stephanie Summers
Part 4: Public Aesthetics
12. Japanese Aesthetics and Reformed Theology: Reflections on Rikyū, Kintsugi, and Endō Makoto Fujimura
13. Poetry and the Reformed Tradition James K. A. Smith
14. Reformed Resources for Thinking about Fashion Robert S. Covolo
15. Streets of Shalom: Reformed Reflections on Urban Design Eric O. Jacobsen
Part 5: Public Academy 
16. Engaging the Pluralist Campus: Reformed Resources Bethany L. Jenkins
17. A Reformed Understanding of Scholarship Nicholas Wolterstorff
18. Critical Race Theory, Campus Culture, and the Reformed Tradition Jeff Liou
Part 6: Public Worship
19. A Migrant at the Lord's Table: A Reformed Theology of Home Alberto La Rosa Rojas
20. Public Trauma and Public Prayer: Reformed Reflections on Intercession John D. Witvliet
21. Sexism, Racism, and the Practice of Baptism in South Africa: A Reformed and Transformative Perspective Nico Koopman
22. Confession: Practice for Civil Public Discourse Kyle David Bennett
23. Piety and Public Life: The Public Imitation of Christ Jessica Joustra


"In this volume public theology in the Reformed tradition is catapulted into the twenty-first century. The authors offer a smorgasbord of topics from discussion of fashion, poetry, and the practice of civil public discourse to liturgy in the home and social evils that we face. The range of topics covered is impressive. Anyone with an interest in Reformed theology should read this book. Those who are not Reformed will still find intellectual riches with which to engage. This is public theology that is not afraid to pin its confessional colors to the mast."

Oliver D. Crisp, professor of analytic theology and director of the Logos Institute, University of St. Andrews

"This book offers a real contribution to the wider landscape of public theology. It is also a page-turner! As the contributors wrestle with pressing global public issues, every chapter invites the reader into a rich, unique, significant, and winsome exploration of the issue at hand. Engaging many of today's lived and complex realities through the lens of the Reformed faith, this volume has wisdom to offer Christians from every tradition as well as concerned citizens of the world. I hope it is read far and wide."

Kristen Deede Johnson, dean, vice president of academic affairs, and professor of theology and Christian formation, Western Seminary

"Those who think of Reformed public theology as an occasional treat of Dutch origin will find themselves surprised at the depth, range, and global scope on display in this book. Matthew Kaemingk has assembled a band of contributors from different countries, backgrounds, and interests who show us that the church has much to gain from the ongoing stewardship of a tradition that invites us to practice holy worldliness."

Vincent Bacote, Wheaton College

"What has Geneva to do with Los Angeles, New York, and Edinburgh--or Beijing, Jakarta, and Rio de Janeiro? Quite a lot! This impressive volume brings together leading scholars from four corners of the world to argue, from their contexts, for public theology in a Reformed key. The breadth of the topics covered and the depth of critical theological engagement offers readers a rich sampling of the ways this centuries-old tradition continues to have relevance and vitality for today's most pressing issues."

Alexander Chow, senior lecturer in theology and world Christianity, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh

The Author

  1. Matthew Kaemingk

    Matthew Kaemingk

    Matthew Kaemingk (PhD, Vrije Universiteit and Fuller Theological Seminary) is the Richard John Mouw Assistant Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he also serves as director of the Richard John Mouw Institute of Faith and...

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