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Annual Kuyper Lecture

Annual Kuyper Lecture

For nearly three decades, the Center for Public Justice has hosted an annual Kuyper lecture. The Kuyper Lecture is named after the Dutch theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper  (1837-1920). The Kuyper Lecture seeks to focus attention on significant questions of religion in public life. Kuyper believed that the Christian life cannot be confined to church life. Accepting Christ’s claim of authority over the entire world, he sought to follow the implications of that faith into politics, journalism, the university, and other human endeavors. 

2022 Kuyper Lecture

The 25th Annual Kuyper Lecture, “The Ongoing Problem of Poverty: Food Insecurity, Families and Faith,” was delivered by Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach.  Dr. Schanzenbach directs the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and is an economist who studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health, and income support policies.  From 2015–17, she served as director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a research associate at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In 1891,  Kuyper gave the opening address at the First Christian Social Congress in the Netherlands, entitled, “The Problem of Poverty.”

As Jim Skillen writes in his translation,  “In 1891, the social implications of the Industrial Revolution were becoming clear throughout much of Europe and America. Rapid urban growth, joblessness, family breakdown, poverty, and social squalor stood out as signs of a severe and growing crisis.”

In “The Problem of Poverty,” Kuyper faces the complexity of this rapidly shifting society. In his speech, Kuyper rightly encourages Christians and the church to take an active role in addressing the crisis.  He also points to the inevitable failure of socialistic governments to solve these problems, while understanding and detailing the complex, differentiated character of modern societies. Addressing the problem of poverty isn’t the responsibility of one institution, but instead, requires an all hands on deck response to ensure that families thrive.

To listen to The Ongoing Problem of Poverty: Food Insecurity, Families and Faith delivered by Dr. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and featuring responses by Dr. Vincent Bacote (Wheaton College) and Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies of the Center for Public Justice, click the link below.

Previous Kuyper Lectures

Videos of prior Kuyper Lectures are directly accessible from this page by clicking on the individual lecture titles  below.

Christian Principles for Health Care Policy

Recovering Sphere Sovereignty in the Age of Trump

Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof: The ACA and Religious Freedom


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