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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Luther in America

luncheon colloquium

Martin Luther and the 95 Theses

Christine Helmer
Northwestern University

Date: Thursday, October 5, 2017
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road
Time: 12:30-1:45 pm **Note time**

RSVP Required. Click here to register.  WAIT LIST ONLY

Co-sponsored with the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning

Abstract:   Searches in the twentieth century for the historical Luther can be seen as a development in viewing Luther from two confessional perspectives. The search for the “Protestant Luther” characterizes Luther scholarship in Germany beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, while the search for the “Catholic Luther” takes the ecumenical spirit of Vatican II as inspiration to see Luther as historically rooted in the Middle Ages. How have American Luther scholars contributed to an emerging understanding of Luther as Catholic theologian who loves philosophy? We will address recent scholarship on Luther in America in order to answer this question.

Christine Helmer

Christine Helmer is professor of German and religious studies at Northwestern University. She is the 2017-2018 Corcoran Visiting Chair in Christian-Jewish Relations at Boston College. In June 2017, Helmer was awarded an honorary doctorate in theology from the faculty of theology at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Helmer’s area of research and teaching specialization is Christian theology from historical, systematic, and constructive perspectives. Her work is focused on German intellectual history with primary interest in the theology of Martin Luther, the philosophy and theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher, and the flourishing of scholarship on Luther and on religion in early twentieth-century Germany, known as the Lutherrenaissance. Helmer is the author of many articles and books, including her monograph The Trinity and Martin Luther (Zabern 1999) and her new book Theology and the End of Doctrine (Westminster John Knox Press 2014). 


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In the News

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, begun in Germany by a monk named Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. In February PBS traveled to Germany to explore how the anniversary is being commemorated. More locally, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod maintains a website dedicated to Reformation focused events and resources throughout the year. Professor Christine Helmer will speak to Luther's presence in American scholarship during her October 5 lunch lecture at the Boisi Center.