The fifteen essays is this festschrift pay homage to a colleague, mentor, and friend, whose professional career has spanned more than fifty years. After retiring in 1992 as the Blekkink Professor Emeritus of Religion at Hope College, Elton J. Bruins came out of retirement less than two years later to serve for another eight years as the founding director of the Van Raalte Institute. Now he will retire again, this time from his post as the Philip Phelps Jr. Research Professor at the Van Raalte Institute.
The essays fall into three categories, all of which reflect different aspects of the dedicatee??'s career. The first ten essays concern church history and theology, for Bruins spent most of his career in the field of religion, first as pastor of two different Reformed Churches in New York, then as a professor of religion at Hope College. The next two focus on different aspects of the life and influence of the Reverend Albertus C. Van Raalte, D.D., founder of Holland, Michigan, to whom Bruins devoted much of his scholarly research over more than three decades. The final three essays deal with local history, specifically the history of Hope College, Western Theological Seminary, and the Joint Archives of Holland.
These well-researched and well-edited essays range broadly across these three fields. They cover everything from religious conflict in the nineteenth century, to the Civil War, to Hope College history, to a noble experiment in unifying community archives, to recent ideological conflict in the field of Reformation history, to contemporary issues in the Reformed Church in America (RCA).
This volume represents a major contribution to the fields of history, theology, andchurch history.