To mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses, the Jubilee Centre, in collaboration with Christian Heritage and KLICE, launched a project to compile a set of new theses for today, or ’95 ways to change the world’. We invited anyone who wants to see the gospel transforming society and culture to propose responses to social issues that will lead to ‘true human flourishing’.
Each new thesis had to be 100 words or less, with three constituent parts:
an Affirmation – a positive value or ideal that is held to be good, just and true
an Analysis – how that good thing is being neglected, abused or spoiled currently
an Action – a realistic and feasible call to action
This structure reflects the Creation/Fall/Redemption framework of a biblical worldview, and was intended to encourage contributors to reflect theologically on both the causes and responses to the issue they care about.
Well over 100 ideas were submitted by individuals from all around the world during 2017, and a final 95 Theses were selected to be displayed on the Reformation2017 website, and in an exhibit at the Round Church, Cambridge. The guidelines were minimal and so the contributions vary widely in their scope, depth of argument and intended audience. The theses were also loosely arranged into categories to make them easier to browse.
Our Director, Jonathan Tame, with the final 95 Theses
Overall, these 95 ‘ways to change the world’ reflect the vision, dreams, passions and concerns of the participants. The project is intended to stimulate conversation and encourage the next generation of Christian leaders (Luther was 33 when he posted the original theses) to think biblically about issues in society, and form strategies for engagement that lead to personal and social transformation.
A £500 prize was awarded to Katherine Ladd, whose thesis demonstrated a strong original idea with a realistic plan for implementation. Five runners up were offered a £100 scholarship to be used for either the Jubilee Centre’s Social Reformers Summer School in 2018 (which includes a workshop on turning a vision into a practical project) or towards the Jubilee Centre’s online training course Biblical Foundations for Public Leadership.
‘Broken Chains’ by Katherine Ladd
‘Human slavery is now a widely discussed issue and we felt that Katherine expressed her thoughts on this subject in a fresh and original way. She also demonstrates a very practical commitment to putting her idea into action. Katherine is a great example of how individuals can take small steps towards addressing issues that might initially seem overwhelming.’ – Calum Samuelson, Project Manager.
Katherine studies English at St John’s College, Cambridge and is the founder of Treated Right, a project to stand against human trafficking and exploitation by raising money and awareness.