Speakers and Lecturers

Spring Convocation: Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA

Thursday, February 2, 2017; 9:40 am

  • Office: Center for Faith & Life, Main Hall

Luther College begins its commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the visit of ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.  Bishop Eaton will reflect on the church's ongoing work of reformation and role of Lutheran higher education in the call to service for the sake of the world. 

Distinguished Lecture: Nadia Bolz-Weber

Friday, March 31, 2017; 7:00 pm

  • Office: Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall

As part of the conference Liberating Grace: The Power of the Reformation in the World Today the popular and thought-provoking Nadia Bolz-Weber, author and pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, will deliver a plenary address in which she presents her vision of the role of the church in broader society as that vision connects to its Reformation roots. Tickets are now available.

Sponsored by the Elwin D. and Helen Farwell Endowment.

Welcoming the Stranger: Refugees at the Core of the Lutheran World Federation

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:45 a.m.

  • Office: Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall

As part of the conference Liberating Grace: The Power of the Reformation in the World Today, Ralston Deffenbaugh, Assistant General Secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights for the Lutheran World Federation, will provide the conference’s plenary address, Welcoming the Stranger: Refugees at the Core of the Lutheran World Federation. A human rights lawyer, Deffenbaugh coordinates the Lutheran World Federation’s international affairs and human rights advocacy and policy development, advises the General Secretary, and serves as the LWF’s main representative to the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

Commencement 2017: John Nunes

Sunday, May 21, 2017; 10:00 am

  • Office: Carlson Stadium

John Nunes, theologian and former director of Lutheran World Relief, will deliver the commencement address for Luther's 151st commencement ceremony.

Martin Luther and the Reformation's Artistic Challenges

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 7:00 pm

  • Office: Olin 102

Professor Jeffery Chipps Smith of the University of Texas, Austin will present the Gerhard Marcks lecture in Art History entitled, "Martin Luther and the Reformation's Artistic Challenges." A world-renowned expert in art of the early modern period, Dr. Smith’s lecture will address the topic of art and the Reformation. This event is free and open to the public.

Phi Beta Kappa Symposium: Katherine Shaner, "Slavery, Paul, and Luther's Legacy for the Bible"

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

  • Office: Center for Faith and Life, Recital Hall

Martin Luther’s legacy for biblical studies is undeniable. His concept of ad fontes, a return to the sources of faith, opened a door for critical analysis of both scripture and its historical contexts. Yet another of Luther’s enduring legacies, the concept of sola scriptura, or the singular authority of scripture, often stands in tension with interpretative methods and theological insights drawn from developments within the critical biblical studies that ad fontes fostered. This presentation examines this tension by exploring slavery, its historical context and its theological context in Pauline communities and their material environments. Why does slavery come to the fore for the first communities to which Paul wrote? What is the legacy of these ancient conversations about slavery for our contemporary theological perspective? What do our legacies (both from Luther and from slavery) mean for the next decades in both the church and the public square?

Reformation Day 2017: Professor Brad Gregory

Tuesday, October 31, 2017; 9:00 am

  • Office: Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall

University of Notre Dame Professor, Brad Gregory, an expert on the Reformation and its impact, will provide the plenary address for the college’s symposium, “The Reformation of Everything, 1517-2017, examining the Reformation and its continuing impact". The title of his lecture is “Why the Reformation Still Matters (Whether we Want it to Or Not).” This event is free and open to the public.