“Accept War and Terror—or Build Peace and Justice?” is the title for the 2016-2017 A. J. Muste Memorial Lecture, to be presented this year by Dr. Robert C. Johansen, Senior Fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Pillar Church, Ninth Street at College Avenue.
Dr. Johansen received his Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from Columbia University and taught political science and peace studies at his alma mater, Manchester College, from 1967-1974. He has twice been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Studies at Princeton University and from 1978-1982 served as President of the World Policy Institute in New York, continuing there as Senior Fellow and Research Director until his appointment to the faculty at Notre Dame in 1986. Born in the Netherlands, A.J. Muste (1885-1967) received his B.A. from Hope College in 1905, graduating as valedictorian of his class and was ordained as a minister in the Reformed Church in America after preparatory study at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. During his service as pastor of a Reformed church in Manhattan he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, graduating magna cum laude. With the onset of World War I, Muste’s pacifist views cost him his pulpit, and he embarked on a dramatic and highly dedicated career as a labor organizer and peace activist. By the 1930s he identified himself as a committed Marxist. The same year, however, he experienced a reconversion to Christianity. He was long associated with the Fellowship of Reconciliation and through it with the Congress on Racial Equality. In 1966, Muste led a group of pacifists to Vietnam to meet with Ho Chi Minh, then President of North Vietnam. Later that year Muste died suddenly in New York.
The A. J. Muste Memorial Lecture was established in 1984 to honor one of Hope’s most notable graduates and continue his legacy.