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Luther as Teacher and Reformer of the University

12th International Congress for Luther Research

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Seminars

As in previous Congresses, we offer a wide variety of seminars, from which you can choose during the registration process. The seminars have been constituted in January 2012 and have begun planning their work, but in case of late registration it is still possible to join a seminar with places available. We also ask you to provide a second and third choice when you register, in the case the seminar you have chosen should be cancelled.

After you have chosen your seminar in the registration process, the seminar leaders will be informed of the participants.

We aim to follow the earlier practice that the seminars will report of their work and the reports will be published in the Lutherjahrbuch.

 

2012 Luther Conference Seminars and Leaders

  1. Ricardo Rieth: Universitäten und Hochschulen des 21. Jahrhunderts als Erben der Bildungsreform Luthers / The Legacy of Luther’s Educational Reform for Universities and Seminaries of the 21st Century
  2. Volker Leppin: Die Verwendung von Autoritäten in den frühen Wittenberger Vorlesungen und Disputationen / The Use of Authorities in the Early Wittenberg Lectures and Disputations
  3. Mary Jane Haemig: Luther, Preaching, and the Reformation
  4. Austra Reinis: The Art of Consolation (Cancelled)
  5. Michael Beyer: Schola Wittenbergensis: Freunde und Kollegen Luthers
  6. Anna Vind: Luther’s Commentary on Galatians 1519
  7. Irene Dingel: Die Aufnahme Luthers und Melanchthons in der Schülergeneration: Memoria – theologische Synthese – Autoritätenkonflikte / The Reception of Luther and Melanchthon among Their Students: Memoria – Theological Syntheses – Conflicts of Authority
  8. Charles Arand: Catechesis in the Context of University Theology
  9. Markus Wriedt: Pietas et Eruditio. Erziehungskonzepte in reformatorischer Theologie / Pietas et Eruditio. Concepts of Education in Reformation Theology
  10. Christopher Spehr: Luthers Konzilsverständnis und der Konzilsdiskurs im protestantischen Lager / Luthers concept of council and the debate of council in the Protestant league (Cancelled)
  11. Christopher Brown: The Impact of Luther’s Hymns
  12. Kirsten Busch Nielsen: Luther’s Critical Concept of Church / Kirchenkritik in Luthers Verständnis von Kirche
  13. Sven Rune HavsteenLutheran Theology and Artistic Media (Cancelled)
  14. Pekka Kärkkäinen: Philosophical Psychology in Luther’s Theology
  15. Joachim Knape: Die Rhetorik der Predigten Luthers / The Rhetoric of Luther's preaching (Cancelled)
  16. Christoph Burger: Luther als Bibelausleger / Luther as Exegete of the Bible
  17. Brooks Schramm with Kirsi Stjerna: Luther and the Old Testament / Luther und das Alte Testament
  18. Martin Laube: Die Luther-Deutung in der Philosophie 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts (Cancelled)
  19. Miikka Ruokanen: Luther Reception in Asia and Africa
  20. Claudia Welz: Self-understanding and its Limits: Luther and Kierkegaard (Cancelled)
  21. Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen: Disciplined Freedom, or Free versus Slave? Recuperating Luther for Feminist Theology in an Age of Terror
  22. Armin Kohnle: Obrigkeit und Universitätsreform im 16. Jahrhundert / Political Authority and Reform of the University in 16th Century Germany (Cancelled)
  23. Andrew Wilson: Luther in the Ibero-American World
  24. Roger Jensen: The Legacy of Swedish Luther Renaissance
  25. Friederike Nüssel: Sola scriptura
  26. Hans-Peter Großhans: Glaube und Vernunft bei Luther / Faith and Reason in Luther’s Thought
  27. Paul Hinlicky: A Post-Modern Luther? New Readings of the Critique of Epistemology and Revision of Metaphysics
  28. Theo Dieter: Luthers und Melanchthons Aristoteles / Luther’s and Melanchthon’s Aristotle
  29. Gesche Linde: Wollen und Handeln. Der Freiheitsbegriff Luthers und seine anthropologischen Implikationen / Volition and Action. Luther’s concept of liberty and its anthropological implications (Cancelled)
  30. Wolfgang Thönissen and P. Augustinus Sander OSB: Luther – Katholik und Reformer?! / Luther: Catholic and Reformer?!

1. Ricardo Rieth: Universitäten und Hochschulen des 21. Jahrhunderts als Erben der Bildungsreform Luthers / The Legacy of Luther’s Educational Reform for Universities and Seminaries of the 21st Century

The seminar aims to identify, discuss and interpret texts in which Luther wrote about the university, its function, structure, courses, content and methodologies in search of his key reform proposals. Also, ask for today universities, high schools and seminaries experiences that freely propose to rethink concepts of the reformer in their theories and practices.

Das Seminar stellt sich als Aufgabe Texte zu identifizieren, diskutieren und auslegen, in denen Luther über die Universität, ihre Funktion, Struktur, Fakultäten, Inhalte und Methoden schrieb, mit dem Ziel seine Hauptreformvorschläge hervorzuheben. Außerdem fragt nach heutigen Erfahrungen bei Universitäten, Hochschulen und Seminaren, die sich bewusst auf Vorstellungen des Reformators beziehen, um Theorien und Praktiken neuzudenken.

 

2. Volker Leppin: Die Verwendung von Autoritäten in den frühen Wittenberger Vorlesungen und Disputationen / The Use of Authorities in the Early Wittenberg Lectures and Disputations

Luthers neues Verständnis von Theologie hatte auch mit einem neuen Verständnis der Autoritäten zu tun. Die Vorstellung eines „Sola Scriptura“ war nicht mit einem Mal bestimmend, sondern musste sich erst entwickeln – und doch ist von früh an ein besonderer Bezug der neuen Wittenberger Theologie auf die Bibel nachzuvollziehen. Das Seminar geht anhand der einschlägigen Vorlesungstexte und der Disputationen bis zur Leipziger Disputation der Frage nach, wie Luther mit Bibel und Kirchenvätern umgegangen ist und wie er sie in ein Verhältnis zueinander gesetzt hat. Dabei geht es um die Entwicklung Luthers durch das Studium der Schrift wie auch durch die Einflüsse aus der spätmittelalterlichen Theologie und dem Humanismus – mit dem Seminar verbindet sich die Hoffnung auf eine differenzierte Beschreibung des Weges der Wittenberger Theologie zum Sola scriptura.

Luther‘s new understanding of theology emerges in connection with a new approach to authority. The concept of “Sola scriptura” was not suddenly born but had to be developed step by step – notwithstanding the early special relationship to the Bible in the Wittenberg theology. The seminary tries to follow Luther’s understanding of authorities by a careful reading of his early lectures and disputations in the time up to the Leipzig Disputation. It focuses on Luther’s development by understanding scripture as well by being influenced by late medieval and humanist traditions. To hold this seminary means to hope that we will reach to a better understanding of Luther’s way to the “Sola scriptura”.


3. Mary Jane Haemig: Luther, Preaching, and the Reformation

This seminar will consider a number of issues related to the content, form, and impact of Luther's sermons.  Participants are encouraged to present short papers.  These may consider some aspect of Luther's preaching or consider how Luther's theology and sermons influenced other preachers in the sixteenth century. 


4. Austra Reinis: The Art of Consolation (Cancelled)


5. Michael Beyer: Schola Wittenbergensis: Freunde und Kollegen Luthers

Das Seminar widmet sich den Arbeits- und Freundschaftsbeziehungen Luthers in doppelter Perspektive. Zum einen sollen diese Beziehungen im Zusammenhang mit der Wittenberger Universität in ihrer Kontinuität bzw. Diskontinuität über die gesamte Wittenberger Wirkungszeit Luthers dargestellt werden. Darüber hinaus soll der Kreis der auswärtigen Reformatoren beschrieben werden, die in engem Kontakt mit Luther und seinem engeren Kreis die Wittenberger Reformation an ihren jeweiligen Wirkungsorten vorangetrieben haben.


6. Anna Vind: Luther’s Commentary on Galatians 1519

For no apparent reason Luther’s early commentary on Galatians (1519) has received less attention than many of his other writings. The commentary is nevertheless of great interest, because its roots can be traced to the early lectures on Paul (1515-1518) and to the second lecture course on the Psalms (1519-21). It is also important for the way in which it anticipates the large commentary on Galatians (1531/35). The 1519 commentary is a well-arranged and manageable work planned by Luther himself with the aim of publication.

The text offers a range of interesting research themes that can shape the mutual work in the seminar, such as: 1) Luther’s interpretation of Paul; 2) Luther’s understanding of the relation between faith and works (themes one and two may be linked to the contemporary discussion about the “new perspective on Paul” and its relation to Luther research); 3) Luther’s reformation theology – breakthrough or development? And finally 4) the interpretation of Luther’s assertion that the peace and grace of God are hidden, invisible, and incomprehensible (WA 2,456,32-34; 457,3.4). Systematic as well as historical contributions related to the 1519 commentary are welcome. The seminar leader speaks English, but participants are welcome to speak and write English as well as German. 


7. Irene Dingel: Die Aufnahme Luthers und Melanchthons in der Schülergeneration: Memoria – theologische Synthese – Autoritätenkonflikte / The Reception of Luther and Melanchthon among Their Students: Memoria – Theological Syntheses – Conflicts of Authority

Nach dem Tod Luthers und den wenig später einsetzenden innerprotestantischen Streitigkeiten, in die auch Melanchthon hineingeriet, sahen sich die Schüler der beiden großen Wittenberger vor der Aufgabe, ihre Theologie angesichts der gesellschaftlichen und politischen Herausforderungen neu zu formulieren. Dabei spielte die jeweils spezifisch gepflegte Memoria der beiden reformatorischen Autoritäten eine große Rolle. Sie konnte den Weg ebnen für eine theologische Synthese, aber auch Konfessionsbildungen einleiten und abstützen sowie Konkurrenzen und Autoritätenkonflikte auslösen. Unter dieser rezeptionsgeschichtlichen Perspektive soll in den Blick genommen werden, in welcher Weise die Schülergeneration mit dem theologischen Erbe der Wittenberger Reformation umging.

Arbeitsform: Referate der Teilnehmer und Diskussion, evtl. gemeinsame Quellenlektüre.

After Luther’s death and the controversies that began soon thereafter within Protestantism, into which Melanchthon was also drawn, the students of the two great Wittenberg theologians viewed it as their task, to formulate their theology anew in view of the societal and political challenges of the time.  The specific “Memoria” of the two authorities of the Wittenberg Reformation which they developed played a significant role in the accomplishment of the task.  They paved the way for the theological syntheses but they also led the way to forming confessional churches and reinforced this confessional identity.  They also kindled rivalries and conflicts over authority.  This seminar will address the ways in which the generation of Luther’s and Melanchthon’s students dealt with the theological legacy of the Wittenberg Reformation from the perspective of the study of the reception of their thought and contributions to the life of the church and society.

Seminar Procedure: Papers by the participants and discussion, with the possibility of examination of source readings together.


8. Charles Arand: Catechesis in the Context of University Theology


9. Markus Wriedt: Pietas et Eruditio. Erziehungskonzepte in reformatorischer Theologie / Pietas et Eruditio. Concepts of Education in Reformation Theology

One of the main features of the Wittenberg Reformation was a thorough reform of education and schooling. Though not exclusively initiated by Luther his programmatic writings became wide spread and became practically accomplished by Melanchthon and their large number of friends and students. The seminar will start from Melanchthon’s inaugural speech in Wittenberg (1518) and Luther’s famous address “to the magistrates of all German Cities” (1524). These writings will serve as spring board for the examination of practical reforms in Schools and Universities. Since this field offers a vast amount of potential research, participants of the seminar are most welcome to introduce their individual research to the topic. Others might prepare paragraphs or whole sources to be introduced and commented in the seminar discussion. It is planned to have short presentations, source reading and panel discussion on various topics of the Wittenberg Reformation and School Reform. Leading question of the investigation is the quest for a specific evangelical reform in comparison with other reform attempts (humanists, Catholic reform, etc.) If possible we might also investigate predecessors and successors as well – depending on the feedback of potential participants. As soon as reactions to this proposal occur I will put together a reader with source material and work out an agenda for the four days of academic research and discussion.

Die Reform des elementaren wie höheren Schulwesens gehört zu den zentralen Elementen der Wittenberger Reformation. Wenn auch nicht exklusiv durch Luther initiiert waren doch seine Schrift „an die Ratsherren aller deutschen Städte …“ (1524) und Melanchthons Antrittsrede in Wittenberg (1518) von programmatischer Bedeutung. Beide Texte dienen als Ausgangspunkt einer weiter ausgreifenden Recherche zu den ergriffenen praktischen Reformen von Schulen und höheren Bildungseinrichtungen. Angesichts der unüberschaubaren Fülle möglicher Beiträge sind alle Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer des Seminars herzlich eingeladen, ihre individuellen Forschungen zum Thema vorzustellen und in den breiteren Forschungsdiskurs einzubringen. Zugleich ist intensive Quellenbearbeitung sowie – wenn möglich – die exemplarische Beleuchtung von Vorgängern und Nachfolgern geplant. Leitende Frage der Untersuchungen ist die nach einem spezifischen Profil evangelischer Bildungsreform im Unterschied zu gleichzeitigen, alternativen Reformansätzen (Späthumanismus, Katholische Reform, etc.) Sobald erste Rückmeldungen potentieller Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer vorliegen wird auf der Grundlage dieser Meldungen ein Reader erstellt und eine Agenda des Seminars ausgearbeitet.


10. Christopher Spehr: Luthers Konzilsverständnis und der Konzilsdiskurs im protestantischen Lager / Luthers concept of council and the debate of council in the Protestant league (Cancelled)


11. Christopher Brown: The Impact of Luther’s Hymns

This seminar will provide a forum for discussion of work on Luther’s hymns in their poetical, musical, and theological aspects, including, e.g. :  their composition; their content and relation to other genres within Luther’s work; their publication and incorporation into collected hymnals and church orders; their use in private and in public, in devotion, pedagogy, or liturgy; Luther’s reflections on the role of hymns in the life of the church; Luther’s appropriation and translation of patristic and medieval hymns; and the reception of Luther’s hymns, including their translation, incorporation into preaching and catechesis, and their interpretation, criticism, and imitation by contemporaries and succeeding generations.  The goal of the discussion will be to approach identification of the distinctive features of Luther’s hymnody and its tradition and their theological and social significance.  Participants are asked to submit a draft of current work for discussion.


12. Kirsten Busch Nielsen: Luther’s Critical Concept of Church / Kirchenkritik in Luthers Verständnis von Kirche

In Luther’s early writings (1520-1523) on church and ministry an understanding of church is put forward which is both critical and ”upbuilding”, complex and simple. Departing from an analysis of selected key passages of these texts this seminar will discuss issues which seem crucial to any contemporary Lutheran ”theory of the church” (1. representation, 2. visibility and invisibility of the church and 3. relation between criticism of church and criticism of religion). Further the seminar will venture a systematic comparison between Luther and contemporary Reformation ecclesiologies (e.g. D. Bonhoeffer, K. Barth and R. Jenson). Participants are invited to propose relevant Luther texts for discussion and to present own papers on the subject of the seminar. Copies of texts for discussion and, if possible, extracts of participants’ papers will be sent to registered participants before the conference. Seminar languages: English and German.

 

In seinen frühen Schriften (1520-1523) zum Thema Kirche und Amt entfaltet Luther eine kritische und ”erbauliche”, komplexe und einfache Interpretation von ”Kirche”. Ausgehend von einer Analyse von ausgewählten Passagen in diesen Schriften wird das Seminar Themen diskutieren, die auch für eine heutige, lutherische ”Kirchentheorie” wichtig sind (1. Repräsentation u. Stellvertretung, 2. Sichtbarkeit und Unsichtbarkeit der Kirche und 3. das Verhältnis zwischen Kirken- und Religionskritik). Ein systematischer Vergleich zwischen Luther und neuzeitlichen, reformatorischen Ekklesiologien soll versucht werden (z.B. D. Bonhoeffer, K. Barth und R. Jenson). Teilnehmer/innen werden gebeten, Texte zur Diskussion in Vorschlag zu bringen und eigene papers vorzulegen. Die Seminarleiterin wird die Luthertexten, mit denen gearbeitet werden soll, und evtl. papers den Teilnehmern/innen im Voraus zusenden. Seminarsprachen: Englisch und Deutsch.


13. Sven Rune Havsteen:  Lutheran Theology and Artistic Media (Cancelled)


14. Pekka Kärkkäinen: Philosophical Psychology in Luther’s Theology

Throughout his career Luther showed thorough acquaintance of the academic psychology of his time. This acquaintance expressed itself sometimes in the harsh criticism of scholastic applications of Aristotle’s De anima in theology. However, during Luther’s late years psychology was incorporated again into curriculum of the University of Wittenberg. This seminar will concentrate on Luther’s texts from 1530s and 1540s. These will be compared to texts from natural philosophy in Wittenberg, namely Epitome de anima by Johann Bernhardi of Feldkirch (Johannes Velcurio, 1490-1534), written about 1532-34 and Melanchthon’s Commentarius de anima (1540). All discussed texts will be provided also in English translations. Participants are encouraged to propose relevant texts for discussion.


15. Joachim Knape: Die Rhetorik der Predigten Luthers / The rhetoric of Luther's preaching. (Cancelled)


16. Christoph Burger: Luther als Bibelausleger / Luther as Exegete of the Bible

Während der geplanten vier Zusammenkünfte können Zugänge zum Thema diskutiert werden, die aus der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit der Teilnehmer/innen erwachsen. Der Seminarleiter wird – wenn möglich unter Berücksichtigung angemeldeter Beiträge – eine Reihe von Luthertexten zusammenstellen und allen angemeldeten Teilnehmern/innen einen reader zusenden.

Fragestellungen (offen für Ergänzung oder Änderung): Wie entwickelt sich Luther als Bibelexeget, von den frühen Psalmenexegesen bis zur Genesisvorlesung? Wie unterscheidet sich sein Zugang zu den biblischen Texten in verschiedenen Genera (Vorlesungen, Kommentare, Schriften für ein breiteres Publikum), in der Sprache der Gelehrten und in der Volkssprache? Wie unterscheidet sich Luthers Exegese von derjenigen spätmittelalterlicher Exegeten wie beispielsweise Jean Gerson (1363 – 1429), von derjenigen von Zeitgenossen (Müntzer, Zwingli)? Ist zu beobachten, dass Luther in Texte die Rechtfertigung des Gottlosen hineinliest (Eisegese)? Luther schiebt beim Übersetzen biblischer Texte erklärende Vokabeln ein (wie beispielsweise die Partikel solus): tut er das bewußt? Historische Semantik: Neubewertung von in der Exegese vor Luther weitgehend anders gewerteten Vokabeln wie beispielsweise ‚humilitas’ oder ‚vocatio’ (Ruf, Beruf): auf Erasmus’ Schultern oder selbständig?

Arbeitsform: Eigene Vorschläge der Teilnehmer/innen. Reader. Frühzeitige Anmeldung ist sehr wünschenswert.

Sprachen: Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch

Montag, 6. August, 14.00 – 15.00 Uhr:
Monday 6 August, 2-3 o’clock p.m.:
Luthers Psalmenauslegung, in erster Linie: seine Auslegung von Psalm 23

15.00 – 15.30 Uhr: Tea break / Kaffeepause

15.30 – 16.30 Uhr / 3.30 – 4.30 o’clock p.m.:
Luthers Auslegung von Psalm 8 im Koburger Psalter [im Vergleich mit den Glossen zur Ersten Psalmenvorlesung]

Dienstag, 7. August, 14.00 – 15.00 Uhr :
Tuesday 7 August, 2-3 o’clock p.m.:
Luthers Auslegung des Magnifikat (Lukas 1, 46b – 55) mit besonderer Rücksicht auf seine Psalmenexegese

15.  00 – 15.30 Uhr: Tea break / Kaffeepause

15.30 – 16.30 Uhr / 3.30 – 4.30 o’clock p.m.:
Luther als Ausleger des Hohen Liedes

Donnerstag, 9. August, 14.00 – 15.00 Uhr:
Thursday 9 August, 2-3 o’clock p.m.:
“The longest days and nights ever lived under the sun”: Martin Luther’s Jonah in the Sermons of Michael Helding (1506-1561) and Philip Wagner (1526-1572).

15.  00 – 15.30 Uhr: Tea break / Kaffeepause

15.30 – 16.30 Uhr/ 3.30 – 4.30 o’clock p.m.:
Luther und die Targum-Exegese

Freitag, 10. August, 14.00 – 14.45 Uhr:
Friday 10. August, 2- 2.45 o’clock p.m.:
The Theological Who and not the Philosophical What: Luther on the Sacrifice of Isaac.

14. 45 – 15.15 Uhr: Tea break / Kaffeepause

15.15 – 16.00 Uhr / 3.15 – 4 o’clock p.m.:
"Freed by the Promise, Captive to the Law"


17. Brooks Schramm with Kirsi Stjerna: Luther and the Old Testament / Luther und das Alte Testament

It is commonplace to say, with Heinrich Bornkamm, that Luther “Christianized the Old Testament thoroughly” and read the OT through the lens of the New.  About this there can be little argument.  Perhaps less appreciated, however, is the influence that the OT itself had on Luther’s own personal faith and theology.  His understanding of Christianity and Christian faith was affected in significant ways by the stories, characters, and ideas of the OT – his lifelong teacher.  Could he have discovered what he did in Paul, for example, apart from his intensive study of the OT?  Does an examination of his core principles reveal a kind of “theological coercion” of the OT on Luther?  Participants are invited to present papers (in English or German) which reassess the influence of the OT on Luther’s theology, as well as Luther’s own unique understanding of the OT as a whole.


18. Martin Laube: Die Luther-Deutung in der Philosophie 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts
(Cancelled)


19. Miikka Ruokanen: Luther Reception in Asia and Africa

Two thirds of all the Christians of the world live outside Europe and North America, and their proportion is continuously increasing. The face of Christianity is not any more that of an affluent white western male but that of a poor non-white non-western female. In the process of the non-westernization of Christianity, the confessional demarcation lines are becoming less and less relevant in Protestantism. There is a huge rise of non-denominational and post-denominational theological emphasis in new contextual or indigenous interpretations of the faith. To some extent, this may lead to an emergence of new type of contextualized confessionalism.

Throughout the world and across all confessional boundaries, Martin Luther is regarded and respected as the founding father and the leading figure of Protestant Christianity. Not only the Lutherans, but all Protestant and Evangelical Christians see him as a prominent hermeneutical guide in Biblical and doctrinal interpretation, especially in the doctrine of grace. Moreover, his Scripture-centred theological method is welcomed by non-western Christians. In spite of the strong tendency of de-confessionalism in modern Protestant non-western Christianity, Martin Luther maintains his position as a main source of the authentic self-understanding of the Evangelical faith. He remains as a valuable guide of continuity for those struggling to create new contextual understandings of the biblical faith.

There are concrete signs of fresh interest in Martin Luther and his theology in many non-western universities, theological schools, and churches. This shows up, e.g., in translations of Luther's main works into Asian and African languages and in an increasing number of courses related with Luther's theology. Luther is also often quoted in sermons. In many places, Luther's doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is welcomed as a healthy basis for religious freedom, especially so in the countries where Christianity is a small minority religion.

This seminar welcomes papers and presentations related with the continuing global relevance of Martin Luther's theology for Protestant and Ecumenical Christianity. Case studies from non-western contexts are especially welcome.


20. Claudia Welz: Self-understanding and its Limits: Luther and Kierkegaard (Cancelled)


21. Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen: Disciplined Freedom, or Free versus Slave? Recuperating Luther for Feminist Theology in an Age of Terror

(Please note! The seminar leader and title have been changed)

Taking our point of departure in Luther's "On the Freedom of a Christian", the third of his major reforming treatises of 1520, this seminar is concerned about how Lutheran theology can be critiqued and corrected by a thorough engagement with feminist theology. Departing from an analysis of key passages of Luther's treatise, this seminar will discuss questions that are crucial to a contemporary understanding of being a Christian. What did Luther understand by "freedom" and what by "slavery", and can this be applied in today's theology, not least a feminist theology? Participants are invited to propose further relevant Luther texts for discussion and to present own papers on the subject of the seminar, which entails venturing some of the taboos within Lutheran theology and asking some of the tough questions rarely touched.

Seminar Procedure: Source readings, papers by participants and discussion.

Seminar languages: English and German


22. Armin Kohnle: Obrigkeit und Universitätsreform im 16. Jahrhundert / Political Authority and Reform of the University in 16th Century Germany (Cancelled)


23. Andrew Wilson: Luther in the Ibero-American World

This seminar will explore the reception of Luther and the development of Lutheran theology in the Ibero-American world, including Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Spanish-speaking Latin America. The four seminar days will be divided roughly chronologically. Each session will be lead by specialists who will present the major topics and texts of the respective period. The proposed divisions are: (1) 16th century Spain, Portugal, and the Americas, (2) 17th century through the nineteenth century revolutions, (3) 19th and early 20th century immigrations to Latin America, religious tolerance religious tolerance, and missions to "Catholic" countries, (4) Luther in Ibero-American ecumenical and liberation theologies.


24. Roger Jensen: The Legacy of Swedish Luther Renaissance

Note: the seminar leader has changed to Roger Jensen.

This seminar will consider the twentieth century Swedish Luther Renaissance and its legacy for contemporary Swedish Luther research. The participants will write and present short papers or excerpts from their current research. The topics might focus on historical aspects, theological emphases, or chief figures of Swedish Luther research in the twentieth century and today. In exploring these topics participants also will discuss the influence of previous work and what it has to offer current Luther research in Sweden and beyond.


25. Friederike Nüssel: Sola scriptura

While the sola scriptura principle is an essential element of Luther's theology, it has gone through several transformations in the history of Lutheran thinking. In a first step the seminar will focus on Luther's understanding of the sola scriptura principle, its theological intention and its hermeneutical implications. In a second step some prominent examples of the pre- and the post-enlightenment era will be given to discuss crucial issues in Lutheran theology of the scripture and to consider the innovative dynamics of the sola scriptura principle in the shaping and re-shaping of Lutheran theology.


26. Hans-Peter Großhans: Glaube und Vernunft bei Luther / Faith and Reason in Luther’s Thought

Das Seminar untersucht an ausgewählten Texten aus dem gesamten Werk Martin Luthers das Verhältnis von Glaube und Vernunft. Dabei werden vor allem vier Themenkreise berücksichtigt: 1. Die Rolle der Vernunft in der Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift; 2. Vernunft und Theologie; 3. Vernunft in der Gestaltung des individuellen und gemeinschaftlichen Lebens; 4. die unterschiedliche Orientierungsleistung von Glaube und Vernunft. Neben der gemeinsamen Arbeit an Texten Luthers besteht in dem Seminar für die Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer die Möglichkeit, eigene Einsichten zum Seminarthema vorzutragen.

The seminar analyses with selected texts from Martin Luther’s whole work the relation of faith and reason in Luther’s thought. The focus will be especially on four topics: 1. reason in biblical interpretation; 2. reason in theology; 3. reason in life; 4. the different orientation given by reason and by faith. Beside the working with Luther’s texts the seminar offers the possiblity for the participants to present own papers dealing with the subject.

27. Paul Hinlicky: A Post-Modern Luther? New Readings of the Critique of Epistemology and Revision of Metaphysics

In this seminar a collaboration of historians, philosophers and theologians will investigate a selection of Luther texts ranging from the early Commentary on Romans through the late Lectures on Genesis, which, from the perspective of “divine faith,” criticize the possibility of self-grounding “reason” and accordingly revise its “natural” construal of deity as the immanent perfection of being (i.e., Aristotle’s “thought thinking itself”). The purpose of this investigation is to put Luther in dialogue with contemporary explorations in the deconstruction of rationalism with its “sovereign self” and hence with the ecumenical renewal of Trinitarian theology as the gospel's revision of classic metaphysics. Related to this project are several ancillary themes: the place of traditional Christian Platonism (via Augustine) in Luther’s theology; the apparent distinction between the religious awareness of the deity (sensus divinitatis) and the philosopher’s natural theology in Luther; the meaning of the imago Dei text of Genesis 1:26-28 for Luther’s theological anthropology and the proper task of “philosophy” or “reason”; and Girard’s theme of Violence and the Sacred in connection with Luther’s criticism of sacrificial rites. Generally participants will be assigned a Luther text and asked to contribute a study to the seminar along the foregoing lines, though proposals treating ancillary themes, or related themes in the thought of Melanchthon, may be considered.

 


28. Theo Dieter: Luthers und Melanchthons Aristoteles /  Luther’s and Melanchthon’s Aristotle

In 1517, Luther stated: “One can only become a theologian without Aristotle.” In 1536, Melanchthon declared that theology needs philosophy and that Aristotelian philosophy is the most appropriate for theology. How can this contradiction be adequately understood? In recent years, Luther research has become aware of the complexity of Luther’s relation to Aristotle. To what does Luther precisely refer when he uses the name “Aristotle”? One has to distinguish theological, philosophical, and institutional aspects, and ask for, analyze, and evaluate the reasons and motifs behind Luther's statements about “the philosopher.” What could and did Luther learn and know about “Aristotle” in his philosophical studies and in his career? Are his criticisms of “Aristotle” precise and well founded? What is Melanchthon’s view of “Aristotle”? What approach did he take in commenting on the philosopher? How did he make use of Aristotle’s ideas for theology? How do Luther’s and Melanchthon’s attitudes towards “Aristotle” relate to each other? What are the institutional aspects of the reform of Lutheran universities, which came to be dominated by “Aristotle” for about a hundred years? This seminar intends to enrich our understanding of the complex relationship between the Lutheran reformation and “Aristotelian” philosophy by a close reading of relevant texts that have not yet received due attention or suggest new interpretations.

29. Gesche Linde: Wollen und Handeln. Der Freiheitsbegriff Luthers und seine anthropologischen Implikationen / Volition and Action. Luther’s concept of liberty and its anthropological implications (Cancelled)


30. Wolfgang Thönissen and P. Augustinus Sander OSB: Luther – Katholik und Reformer?! / Luther: Catholic and Reformer?!

Das Reformanliegen Luthers und der Wittenberger Reformbewegung ist vom Ansatz her nicht konfessionell, sondern konfessorisch ausgerichtet. D.h.: Der von Luther und dem frühen Luthertum eingenommene status confessionis bleibt zunächst innerkatholisch verortet, zielt aber nicht von vornherein auf die Konstituierung einer eigenständigen Konfessionskirche. Für die Quelleninterpretation bedeutet dies: Das konfessorische Profil ersetzt nicht den bisherigen katholisch-ekklesialen Kontext; es setzt ihn, wo er nicht ausdrücklich in Frage gestellt wird, vielmehr ganz selbstverständlich voraus. Das Seminar will anhand ausgewählter deutscher und lateinischer Quellentexte die vorkonfessionelle Kontextuierung der Wittenberger Reformtheologie nachzeichnen, also die gemeinchristlich-katholischen Vorgaben, die als solche „in statu confessionis“ nicht eigens ausgesagt werden müssen, sondern unbestritten in den verschiedensten kirchlichen Vollzügen, etwa der Liturgie, der Verkündigung oder der Lehre, aber auch auf der Ebene kirchlicher Struktur und Ordnung präsent sind. Auf diesem Hintergrund soll dann das konfessorische Profil der Wittenberger Reformtheologie näher bestimmt werden. Inwieweit dieses Profil in der Folgezeit eine konfessionalisierende Transformation erfahren hat, wird jeweils zu überprüfen sein.

In terms of their approach both Luther’s reforming work and the Wittenberg reform movement sought not to be confessional, but rather to be confessing (not konfessionell, but rather konfessorisch). That is to say that the status confessionis taken by Luther and early Lutheranism remained at first located within catholic confines of the late medieval Western church and did not from the beginning set out to constitute an independent church of a particular confession (Konfessionskirche). When it comes to interpreting sources from Luther and the Wittenberg reformers this means that the confessing profile does not replace the previous catholic ecclesiastical context. Rather, where this context is not explicitly called into question the confessing profile simply assumes it as a matter of course. 

On the basis of selected German and Latin sources the seminar will trace the pre-confessional contextualization of the Wittenberg reform theology, i.e. those common Christian-catholic guidelines, which as such do not need to be stated specifically “in statu confessionis”, but rather remain unchallenged and present in all manner of things carried out in the church, such as in the liturgy, in proclamation or teaching, but also at the level of ecclesiastical structure and order. Then, against this background, the confessing profile of the Wittenberg reform theology will be more closely defined. To what extent this profile subsequently underwent a confessionalizing transformation will have to be tested in each case.

Mode of operation: Participants will read the texts beforehand, which will then be discussed in the seminar.

Arbeitsweise: individuelle Vorbereitung der Texte (Reader), Diskussion.