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On March 7th – 9th Dr. David Sytsma will give lectures on virtue ethics in the Reformed tradition. Dr. Sytsma teaches at Tokyo Christian University and serves as the research curator of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research. His four Lectures will happen on Tuesday, March 7 at 11 and 1, on Wednesday, March 8 at 1, and on Thursday, March 9 at 11. In addition, there will be a community lunch on Thursday where you can bring your questions to Dr. Sytsma.


Virtue Ethics in the Reformed Tradition

Dr. David Sytsma
2023 Kistemaker Academic Lecture Series
Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

Every year, RTS Orlando invites a leading scholar from outside our own faculty to present a series of academic lectures to the student body. Our lecturer for 2023 is Dr.  David S. Sytsma, associate professor at Tokyo Christian University and research curator of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2013 with his Ph.D. in History of Christianity. Prior to that he studied historical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. For the past decade, he has taught undergraduate courses in church history and history of philosophy, as well as graduate courses in research methodology.

The Reformed tradition produced a large body of ethical writings, and this lecture series will provide a historical introduction to Reformed literature on virtue ethics in the early modern period. After an initial survey of the historical development and major genres of ethical writings (lecture 1), we will consider the critical reception of pagan virtue ethics (lecture 2), followed by treatments of the concepts of happiness and virtue (lectures 3 and 4). Since Reformed theology and ethics touched on interrelated topics of mutual concern, attention will be given throughout all lectures to the interaction between theology and ethics.


Lecture 1: Mapping an Early Modern Tradition: Sources and Genres for Reformed Virtue Ethics

Lecture 2: The Use and Limits of Pagan Virtue Ethics

Lecture 3: Reformed Concepts of Happiness

Lecture 4: Reformed Concepts of Virtue

All are welcome to join for these special lectures and for a Q&A lunch on Thursday, March 9. Please register for lunch here (https://rts.regfox.com/rtso-2023-kistemaker-lecture-series-lunch)


About the Lecturer:

Dr. Sytsma’s area of research is in Reformation and early modern history. He has served as project director of the Post-Reformation Digital Library since 2009. He is currently researching the history of Protestant ethics and working on a bibliography of early modern Protestant ethics (ca. 1520-1750). His publications include Richard Baxter and the Mechanical Philosophers (Oxford, 2017), a critical edition of Matthew Hale’s treatise Of the Law of Nature (CLP Academic, 2015), and the co-edited volume Beyond Dordt and De Auxiliis (Brill, 2019). Dr. Sytsma grew up in the Tokyo area as a missionary child and is married to Hiroko with four children. He currently resides with his family in Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo.

Established in 2003 and named in memory of the Rev. Dr. Simon J. Kistemaker, longtime professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, these annual lectures offer scholarly insights on contemporary issues in biblical studies, systematic theology, and practical theology.


March 7, 2023
March 9, 2023
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