Wednesday, February 08, 2012

German Lutheran Theologian Oswald Bayer presenting lecture March 6 at LTSP

Oswald Bayer, DrTheol, the 2012 St. John's Summit Professor at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), will present the annual St. John's Summit Professor lecture on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A preview of the lecture: "The word of God, which remains forever (Is. 40:8), enters the public realm, apocalyptically, and yet it remains a mystery. The mystery is that of the divine name, which unlike all other mysteries, especially the agonizing mystery of evil and the hardness of heart, is not a riddle that once solved is put aside. It is the mystery of the eternally rich, living and therefore inexhaustible God."

Dr. Oswald Bayer is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen in Germany. He is particularly engaged in research on Martin Luther and Johann Georg Hamann, and serves as the academic leader of the Luther Academy Sondershausen-Ratzeburg. He is also an ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church of Württemberg, and was the editor of Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie from 1986-2006. Dr. Ayer champions a Lutheran theology that is creative and eager to engage philosophical thought. His life's work has been the exploration of the often polemical engagement of Reformation theology with modern thought (see, for example, Theology the Lutheran Way, published in 2007, and Freedom in Response: Lutheran Ethics: Sources and Controversies, which also appeared in 2007). He is particularly concerned with ascertaining the place and task of Lutheran theology in our time. This intention is paradigmatically apparent in his book, Johann Georg Hamann as a Radical Enlightener, recently published by Eerdmans. The volume is also available in a Japanese edition. His Martin Luther's Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation has been published in German, English, Portuguese and Chinese. Vitor Westhelle lauds Professor Bayer as "[o]ne of the most significant and original Lutheran voices of this generation, in both historical and systematic theology."

The St. John’s Summit professorship annually brings a distinguished visiting professor to LTSP to teach and share in the life of the seminary community. The professorship is funded by a gift from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summit, New Jersey.

A collection of Dr. Bayer's books can be found on the site.

Written by The Rev. Martin Lohrnann, PhD '10 and John Kahler. Dr. Lohrmann's doctoral dissertation was on "Johannes Bugenhagen's Commentary on Jonah (1550): Biblical Interpretation as Public Theology in the Reformation."

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