Peace among the Nations: Reformed Theology and Geopolitical Conflicts

Throughout the ages, Christians have reflected on how they should relate to the magistrate or state, what their political responsibility might entail, and whether and under which conditions the use of military force is justified. Given the geopolitical nature of conflicts such as the Russian invasion in Ukraine and the Chinese claim on Taiwan, and given the many ongoing inter- and intrastate conflicts around the globe in which religion often plays an important role, these questions take on new urgency in our time and ask for profound theological reflection.

How are (geo)political violent conflicts, including their religious dimensions, to be understood theologically? How can political theology, theological understandings of the relationship between church and state, and ethical views on peace and war contribute to the clarification of what is at stake in actual conflicts and the moral deliberation about concrete responsibilities in these conflicts? What has the Reformed tradition specifically to offer concerning these issues? Are traditional understandings of the relationship between church and state still viable or should they be revised? How would a Reformed political theology after Christendom look like? And what does the eschatological vision of ‘peace among the nations’ mean given the (geo)political conflicts we face in our time? These and other questions will be addressed at the forthcoming 15th international conference of the International Reformed Theological Institute, to be held at Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta. Three subthemes in particular will be addressed: geopolitics and theology, church and state, and peace and war.

Three subthemes in particular will be addressed: geopolitics and theology, church and state, and peace and war.

If you are attending, consider also coming to our preconference symposium on 27 June discussing theological discourses on coloniality.

Keynote Speakers

  • Hanns Lessing, PhD
    Acting General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, Hannover, Germany
  • Eric D. Patterson, PhD
    President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Washington DC, USA, Scholar-at-Large of the School of Government at Regent University, and research fellow at Georgetown University
  • Marietta D. C. van der Tol, PhD
    College Lecturer in Politics, Lincoln College, and Postdoctoral fellow, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK
  • Paulus S. Widjaja, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor in Christian Ethics and Peace Studies, Faculty of Theology, Duta Wacana Christian University, Indonesia

© All portraits are property of the speakers.


A preliminary programme is available. This programme is subject to change.


Duta Wacana Christian University (DWCU) or Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW) is a private university in Yogyakarta, central of Java island, Indonesia.

Practical Information


Registration is open until 15 June.