OREANDA-NEWS On 13 November 2017, Hungary’s Embassy to The Hague organised an exhibition and roundtable discussion entitled “Soli Deo Gloria - The Five Centuries of the Hungarian Reformation”, in cooperation with the Harderwijk City Museum (Stadsmuseum Harderwijk).

At the panel discussion, former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Director of the Pet?fi Museum of Literature Gergely Pr?hle and historian Liek Mulder shared their shared their ideas with relation to the social role and church history significance of Protestantism, and on its effects during the course of Dutch and Hungarian history and on the development of bilateral relations.
At the event, speeches were given by Mayor Harm-Jan van Schalk in representation of the city of Harderwijk, Museum Director Corien van der Meulen and Ambassador Andr?s Kocsis. In his speech, the head of the Hungarian diplomatic mission praised the effects that Dutch Protestantism had had on Hungarian scientific life and philosophical history, highlighting the revolutionary work of 17th century Hungary’s leading Protestant scholar and writer J?nos Ap?czai Csere, who earned a doctorate in theology at the University of Harderwijk.

During his speech at the roundtable discussion, Jan Peter Balkenende stressed that just as Dutch neo-Calvinist theologian, publicist and statesman Abraham Kuyper and Protestant philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd extended the widespread application of protestant teachings to include the various classes of society and everyday life while relying on the fundamental principles of the Reformation, people today must also determine the extent to which the goals and rich heritage of the Reformation may be applied within politics and in economic and business life.

With relation to the topic, Gergely Pr?hle said one of the most significant heritages of the Reformation was freedom of thought and the individual’s personal responsibility that is derived from this freedom, which we can find in both Jewish-Christian roots and among the ideals of the Enlightenment, highlighting the fact that people who cannot identify with any of these teachings have no basis for being in Europe.
Liek Mulder highlighted the importance of the relationship between Church and state, noting that during the course of history the two entities have become overly detached, when in fact our religious beliefs serve as an extremely valuable moral compass for our everyday lives even today, not least within the fields of foreign policy and public administration.

The event was sponsored by the Hungarian Embassy to The Hague with funding from the National Cultural Fund of Hungary.