|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in numerical order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains a series of lectures on "The Christian Faith and the Non-Christian Religions" delivered at the University of Geneva by Hendrik Kraemer in January and February of 1954. Examining the relationship between Christianity and the world's non-Christian religions, these lectures place emphasis on the ecumenical movement, particularly the rising "interdependence" of different parts of the world, and various scientific, philosophical, and theological attempts to explain Christian theology to non-Christian religions. The lecture series is divided into four distinct sections: lectures 1-4 provide introductory material and relate previous scientific and philosophical attempts at explaining Christianity, lectures 5-8 deal with theological attempts (Survey and Critical Consideration of Various Theological Attempts to Deal with the Problem of Religion and Religions), lectures 11-12 dissect biblical passages and examples in examining Christian relationships with non-Christian religions (Biblical Data on the Problem of Religion and Religions), and lectures 13-14 contain Kraemer's concluding remarks on the subject.
Burke Library record group:
William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
Hendrik Kraemer was born in 1888 and at age 16 decided to become a missionary. After earning a degree from Leiden University, Netherlands in Indonesian languages, Kraemer then served as a missionary in Indonesia for the Dutch Bible Society from 1922-1937. While in Indonesia, he established the Higher Theological School at Jakarta (1934) and worked to transform Indonesian Christianity into an independent and fully-formed church. Towards the end of his time in Indonesia, Kraemer became involved in the ecumenical movement. His most well-known work, The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World (1938), was prepared for the Second International Missionary Council at Tambaram, India. In this piece, Kraemer distinguished between Christian faith and non-Christian religions, noting that Christianity "has stood and stands under continuous and direct influence and judgment of the revelation in Christ," which makes it unique from all other religions. The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World became a central topic at the 1938 conference. After his return from Indonesia, Kraemer was heavily involved with the restructuring of the Dutch Reformed Church, but he is best known for his involvement in the ecumenical movement. He served as the first director of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches at the Chateau de Bossey in Switzerland (1948-1955), and wrote several other works that built upon his 1938 piece, including Religion and the Christian Faith (1956) and World Cultures and World Religions: The Coming Dialogue (1960). Kraemer also held a guest lectureship at the Union Theological Seminary (1956-1957). He died in 1965.
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, WAB: Hendrik Kraemer papers, 1954, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
WAB: World Council of Churches Records, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The papers are part of the William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives, which was founded in 1945 by the Union Theological Seminary Board of Directors.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-08-08. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Virginia Pastor in 2013 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-01-05 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.