120 years ago the theological training of ministers moved to Cluj

Theology should not be isolated but must be connected to the blodstream of the scientific world. Theological faculty must have its place where the university of Transylvania is established.

It was this recognition of the leaders of the Reformed church in Transylvania which ultimately lead to the decision to move the collegium training the ministers for the churches of Transylvania from Nagyenyed (Aiud) to Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). The 120th anniversary of this move was celebrated with a symposium at the Protestant Theological Institute on October 14, 2015.

The event was opened with a short meditation of Jenő Kiss, followed by the opening speech of rector Elek Rezi. In the course of the morning symposium six lectures discussed various aspects of the history of the Institute. Dezső Buzogány spoke about the historical circumstances leading to the important decision of the church leaders to choose Cluj as the new centre of the Institute. Sándor Kovács presented a short overview of the rich tradition of traning unitarian ministers in Transylvania in the past four and a half centuries. Timea Benkő lectured about the recent history of musical education within the Institute. The list of lectures was interrupted by a refreshing short musical intermezzo. The brothers Illyés, students of the Theological Institute, interpreted Pablo de Sarasate Romanza Andaluza on violin and piano. Gábor Sipos gave an insight for the public into the last years of the 19th century when the plans were made and the building of the Institute (called at that time the Theological Faculty) took place. Sándor Előd Ősz presented the results of his inquiry into the first register of the faculty, which tell us a lot of interesting sociological details about the student life in those days. Vilmos József lectured about the social importance and influence of the Institute in Transylvania.

In the course of the afternoon the 120 year old Library was presented by librarian József Kurta. The short introduction was followed by the presentation of the new catalogue of old books authored by József Kurta. The book was presented by István Monok, director of the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Librarian Ágnes Bak presented the electronic cataloguing program and Csaba Balogh spoke about the digitisation plans of the library (see http://konyvtar.proteo.hu/en).

Pál Herczeg, emeritus professor of the Károli Gáspár Reformed University in Budapest and Botond Gaál, emeritus professor of the Reformed Theological University of Debrecen received the honorary professor award from the Theological Institute. Willem van den Brink was awarded the title "friend of the Theological Institute" for his long yearly commitment to supply first year students with Greek and Hebrew bibles. Laudation speeches were followed by the lectures of the laurates.

The day was crowned with an excellent program of the 25 year old mixed choir of the Theological Institute, founded in 1990 by Attila L. Kovács and directed now by Timea Benkő.

The festivity ended with a common reception at the menza of the Institute.

For further pictures about the event see this link (pictures by András Szűcs).