‘Reformation 500’, a major, international two-day conference was formally opened at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin this afternoon by Archbishop Michael Jackson and Bishop John Fleming, Bishop of Killala and President of the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland, representing Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. It is organised by the Church of Ireland Historical Society and the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland.
The Conference - featuring contributions from a range of notable academics - is considering themes relating to: Martin Luther and the Reformation; ‘Tudor Brexit’ – how European were the British and Irish Reformations?; Beyond Luther – Reform movements in Europe, Scotland and Ireland; and Calvinists and Lutherans: contesting the European Reformation. The first day is being held in Christ Church Cathedral and the second day at the St Patrick’s Campus of Dublin City University at Drumcondra.
Among those attending the conference is the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good.
Welcoming delegates to the opening, Archbishop Michael Jackson said: ‘The Conference itself has both a peripatetic and a pilgrimage feel. It begins here and moves to the St Patrick’s Campus of Dublin City University, as befits its joint organization and the coming together of two distinguished Historical Societies. What could have so easily in the past modelled division now models diversity with distinction. This is wonderful and in Ireland, in particular, is never to be taken for granted or squandered. Rigorous intellectual enquiry must lie at the heart of knowledge and of justice, if forgiveness and reconciliation are to have a sporting chance in the long term, either socially or politically.’ He continued by saying, ‘This Conference plays a life-giving role in this coming together around ideas, concepts and happenings – history made and history in the making.’
Archbishop Jackson concluded: ‘This Conference would probably surprise Martin Luther by its instinctive scholarly ecumenism. The ease with which scholars today can and do engage critically with one another across the fault-lines and the trenches of earlier eras is a contemporary delight and blessing. The responsibility of those of us who listen to such critical wisdom and such wise criticism is to take these concepts into the encounter of reconciliation in order to: banish ignorance; underwrite respect; accelerate comprehension; facilitate change of mind and heart in an emotionally divided Ireland.’
The conference also sees the launch of The Church of Ireland and its past: history, interpretation and identityedited by Mark Empey, Alan Ford and Miriam Moffitt and published by Four Courts Press.
Archbishop Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, (right) and Bishop John Fleming, Bishop of Killala and President of the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland, (left) representing Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, at the opening of the Reformation 500 conference at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.