Dr. Joshua Hollmann will deliver a public lecture titled, “Abraham’s Calling: Toward a Theology of Trust for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations” on Wednesday, 28 November, at 2:05 in the Library and Technology Center Room 215 at Concordia University Saint Paul. Dr. Hollmann is Chair of the Theology Department and Associate Professor of Theology at Concordia College New York. His teaching and research interests are Christian-Muslim relations, comparative religion, philosophy and the western religions, philosophy of religion, and Christian thought and history. Dr. Hollmann has lectured and taught at universities and seminaries in India, Sudan, Canada, Turkey, Haiti and the Philippines.
Dr. Hollmann is a candidate for the position of Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Theology and Ministry at Concordia Saint Paul.
On Tuesday, prior to the Vern Gundermann Reformation Heritage Lecture, Dr. Suzanne Hequet announced that the Book of Concord in Concordia St. Paul’s Special Collections is indeed an original Concordia. There were three families of original editions published in Dresden: 1579, 1580, and 1581. Concordia’s is the latter 1581 version. It belonged to the descendants of Joannes Hunnenberger, one of the signers of the Book of Concord. It was brought by the Saxon Lutherans who immigrated to America and came into possession of the university perhaps at its founding 125 years ago.
As the volume records the 8100 signers, Dr. Hequet also announced a project involving student volunteers to document the signatures and make them available online in a searchable database.
A second volume reporting on the work at Hippos-Sussita for 2000-2011 has arrived at Concordia. This volume supplements the overview of volume 1 with a series or technical reports on water systems, skeletal remains, pottery, glass, and stucco. Concordia University participated in this excavation from 2002-2016. Students in the travel seminar to Israel in January will visit the site.
Dr. Suzanne Hequet, church historian with focus on Reformation Studies, has been studying a recent “find” in the Special Collections of the library at Concordia St. Paul. The book in question is a 1581 Concordia—better known to American Lutherans as the Book of Concord. This book is recognized by all Lutherans world-wide as the historic doctrinal standard, authoritative for Lutherans since the sixteenth century.
Of key importance to Hequet is that this appears to be an original Concordia or Book of Concord. Generally, the Book of Concord is dated 1580, published in Dresden by Stöckel and Bergen. But as can be seen clearly on the title page, this particular book is dated 1581. This is only the first thing that peeked Hequet’s interest. Next, inside the cover and on the front page is handwriting by four or five different people dating from as early as the 1580s to perhaps sometime in the 1890s. It appears the last entry implies the volume was given to Concordia at or near its founding, as one of a few important books for the initial library collection—perhaps in 1893 or 1894.
The goal of my work is to investigate how this book fits into the context of original 1580 Book of Concord editions. I am also transcribing and translating handwriting by members of the Hunnenberger family—the original owners and a signer of the Book of Concord—and additional later entries by others. Hopefully, these transcriptions and translations will unlock the mystery of how the book came to be in the CSP library collection.
CSP Professor to Serve as Assistant Project Director for Vital Worship Grant Awarded by Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Concordia University, St. Paul professor of theology Dr. Rhoda Schuler will serve as assistant project director for a Vital Worship Grant awarded by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) in Grand Rapids, Mich. to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Dr. Schuler will work collaboratively with the Seminary’s Louis A. Fincke and Anna B. Shine professor of systematic theology and Dean of Chapel Dr. Kent Burreson, who is the project director of the grant.
CICW grants, ranging from $6,000 to $18,000, aim to deepen people’s understanding of worship and strengthen practices of public worship and faith formation.
The $18,000 grant will fund a year-long study of four congregations with successful catechumenate programs, which can be replicated and adapted for use in other congregations. The ultimate goal will be to strengthen the patterns for discipleship and participation in church life among the millennial and Generation Z groups. This program is made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.
“Dr. Schuler and I are very grateful to the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship for the opportunity to receive this grant enabling us to conduct this study into the formative value of catechumenal practices among Millennials and Generation Z,” said Burreson. “It is research that has the potential to strengthen patterns of discipleship in many congregations beyond the eight involved in this study.”
Schuler and Burreson said the results will be shared widely so congregations can adapt the successful practices for their use.
“As one who teaches undergraduates, I have seen first-hand the drift of younger generations away from active participation in the church,” Schuler explained. “It is an honor to be involved in research that could enhance the mission of the church and strengthen congregational life, and I’m grateful for the invitation from Dr. Burreson to be part of this grant proposal.”
Schuler and Burreson are currently in the process of inviting congregations to participate in the study and will attend the 2018 Vital Worship Grant Colloquium at Calvin College in June.
Concordia Seminary is one of 44 recipients and the only seminary chosen as part of the Vital Worship Grants Program from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship for 2018-2019. This year’s grant recipients represent 27 congregations, one high school, six colleges and universities, one seminary, and nine other groups including two community organizations, three denominational organizations, a retreat center, and a retirement community. They also represent 17 Christian denominations, 25 states, and two Canadian provinces. John Witvliet, director of the CICW, believes that the 2018 projects will help the Worship Institute in its goals to enhance the scholarly study of Christian worship and the renewal of worshiping communities across North America and beyond.
“We learn a tremendous amount from these programs,” he said in a release. “We look forward to sharing insights from these projects with a larger audience in our future programming over the next several years.” For more information on the grants program, please visit worship.calvin.edu/grants.
About Concordia University, St. Paul
Concordia University, St. Paul is a comprehensive liberal arts university, one of ten affiliated with The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018-2019, Concordia University has been preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives by providing an educational experience that is responsive, relevant, and real. For more information, please visit www.csp.edu.
About Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars, and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, please visit www.csl.edu.