Students compete in speech, debate, art, and writing
Each Spring, The King’s College holds its annual “Interregnum.” In Latin, the word interregnum means “the time between kings.” At King’s, Interregnum is a three-day break from classes filled with speaking, art, and writing competitions focused on a designated theme. The theme of Interregnum VIII, Tradition and Innovation, drove students to consider the strengths and weaknesses of both. The event culminated in a keynote address delivered by Dr. David Bentley Hart.
Interregnum is comprised of a variety of competitions that call on students in all ten Houses to participate. Individual events include academic writing, creative writing, prepared lecture, random theme debate, parliamentary debate, and more.
Participants in each individual event come prepared for tough competition from competitors in other houses. The parliamentary debate competition is perhaps the most intense event at Interregnum. The event features five preliminary rounds, a semi-final debate, and a final round debated in front of the entire student body. Debaters confront a different topic each round, announced just 30 minutes before the round begins.
This years’ motions ranged from online education and abortion to monarchy and democracy. By the end of the fifth motion, four houses (Bonhoeffer, Lewis, Churchill, and QE1) continued into the semi finals. The final round centered on repealing government marriage benefits, with the House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer arguing for the motion and the House of C.S. Lewis advocating for the continued provision of benefits to married couples. In the end, the House of Lewis succeeded in convincing the judges that the harms of encouraging marriage through financial incentives are outweighed by the social benefits of more and stronger marriages. Watch the final debate embedded below, courtesy of www.houseofbonhoeffer.com.
As Interregnum drew to a close, Dr. Hart, a theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator, addressed the student body. He holds degrees from the University of Maryland, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Virginia. He has taught at multiple institutions, including Duke Divinity School and Loyola College in Maryland. Among his written works are Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies, and The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth.
Dr. Hart’s Tradition and Innovation keynote lecture drew on fourth century Nicene theology. He said, “we tend to forget ideas that are historical and cultural artifacts.” He also argued that true innovation is ultimately only possible after a careful study of tradition.
Following Dr. Hart’s keynote address, the House of Clara Barton was declared the winner of both the Interregnum competition and the annual House Cup.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in the Empire State Building in New York City.