Call for papers International Conference 'Between the Old and the New World: William Ames and the Shaping of Reformed Theology and Spirituality'

5 oktober 2023

International Conference 'Between the Old and the New World: William Ames and the Shaping of Reformed Theology and Spirituality'

When and where

Tue afternoon 27 – Thur morning 29 Feb 2024
Pelgrimvaderskerk, Rotterdam

Keynote speakers

  • Prof. Dr. Francis Bremer (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)
  • Dr. Simon Burton (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr. Philip J. Fisk (ETF Leuven)
  • Prof. Dr. Adriaan Neele (Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)

Organizing committee

  • College of Economics at Aoyamagakuin University, Tokyo: Dr. Takayuki Yagi
  • Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI: Prof. Dr. Adriaan Neele.
  • Theological University Apeldoorn: Dr. Gert van den Brink, and Dr. Pieter Rouwendal
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Religion and Theology, Hersteld Hervormd Seminarie: Dr. Jan van de Kamp

Call for papers

Between the Old and the New World: William Ames and the Shaping of Reformed Theology and Spirituality

This conference aims to explore the significant role William Ames played in the history of Reformed theology and spirituality, with a particular emphasis on the connection between the Old and New World contexts.

Born in England in 1576, Ames spent most of his life in religious exile within the Dutch Republic due to his radical puritan beliefs. Following a period serving as a religious chaplain in the Hague and being actively involved in the Arminian controversy which culminated in the Synod of Dort, he assumed the role of a theology professor at Franeker University in 1622. His desire to further emigrate into the New World was tragically cut short by his untimely death in 1633.

Notwithstanding the brevity of his lifespan, his theological legacy is significant in many aspects, including his vision of theology as ‘the art of living to God’ and his rigorous pursuit of piety as the goal of theology, which made a profound impact upon the movement known as the ‘Dutch Further Reformation’. Moreover, Ames’ view of local churches as independent bodies, yet not separated from the broader English Church, provided a crucial theoretical basis for the establishment of newly formed churches, particularly in America.

Ames, a prominent theologian of his time, was often overshadowed in the past by English and Dutch history, possibly due to his life as an exile. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in his work. Despite this resurgence of interest, a comprehensive understanding of his broader theological contributions and impact remains imcomplete. This event offers a great opportunity to investigate Ames’s life and writings, uncovering fresh insights from recent scholarship and painting a more complete picture of his legacy. Keynote speakers leading us in our consideration include Professor Francis Bremmer (Millersville University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Simon Burton (University of Edinburgh), and Professor Adriaan Neele (Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary).

We invite submissions of short papers on any aspect of Ames’s life and work from interdisciplinary perspectives, whether they are historical, philosophical, or theological.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Philosophy and Theology: Examining the philosophical underpinnings of Ames’s theological ideas, particularly the idea of theology as ars bene videndi Deo and the influence of Ramism upon his thought.
  • Ecclesiology: Exploring Ames’s views on church government and the role of the church in society, their impact on the development of congregationalism.
  • Ethics and Piety: Analyzing Ames’s contributions to theological ethics, his emphasis on the role of the will over against the intellect and its practical implications of his ethical framework.
  • Polemics: Investigating Ames’s engagement in theological controversies, such as the Arminian controversy, and the contents and his method of argumentations (scholastic method).
  • Influence: Tracing Ames’s impact on later theological developments, particularly in the Dutch Republic, America, England and Hungary.

Proposed short paper titles together with an abstract (100-150 words) should be submitted by 30 November 2023 to Dr.Takayuki Yagi (

Conference Venue

Pelgrimvaderskerk (Old or Pilgrim Fathers' Church)

Aelbrechtskolk 22
3024 RE Rotterdam


Via: Include your name, hometown and email address
Deadline: 16 January 2024
Registration Fee: €60 for students, €100 for other participants.

The registration fee covers the costs of two conference lunches and two dinners. Please note that we are unable to offer travel expenses and accommodation during the conference.

Payment Details:

Your registration will become final after transferring the appropriate amount to:

Bank Account: NL81 INGB 0007 3674 58
Account Name: Schoolkas TU Apeldoorn
Reference: AMES 2024