Martin Luther's concept of returning to the sources to analyze scripture sometimes conflicted with his concept of the singular authority of scripture. Katherine Shaner, Luther class of 1998, will examine the tension between these two concepts in Luther's interpretation of slavery in the New Testament at the college's 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Humanities Symposium. Using slavery and its historical and theological context within Pauline communities, Shaner will explore how conversations about slavery have shaped modern theology and how Luther's legacy and slavery evolved both in the church and public in the following decades.
The PBK event, "Slavery, Paul, and Luther's Legacy for the Bible," will be held during Homecoming weekend at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus.
A reception will follow the lecture; Both are open to the public with no charge for admission.
Shaner's lecture will be especially relevant to Luther's first-year students who are reading works by Martin Luther and Harriet Jacobs focusing on slavery and freedom in their first-year interdisciplinary Paideia course.
Shaner graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English and German from Luther in 1998. She was a Fulbright Fellow for 1998-99, studying at Ruprecht-Karls Universität in Heidelberg, Germany. Shaner earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2002 and received a Certificate of Studies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 2004. She earned her Doctor of Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 2012.
Since 2013, Shaner has been an assistant professor of the New Testament in the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University. Her book, "Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity," is set to be published in January 2018.
The recipient of many fellowships and awards, Shaner is a peer reviewer for Penn State University Press. She is currently the co-editor of the Oxford Biblical Studies Online Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology and is on the steering committee of the Paul and Politics Section of the Society of Biblical Literature. In addition to her academic work at Wake Forest, Shaner has served as the pastor at North Carolina Synod since 2014.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.
Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society, dedicated to the promotion of liberal education and academic excellence, a focus shared by Luther College from its beginnings. More than 1,600 Luther College alumni have been inducted into membership in Phi Beta Kappa since 1983.