PLU 500th anniversary of the Reformation events
Free at Last?
Lutheran Perspectives on Racial Justice
In a political season marked by the demonization of ethnic, racial and religious minorities, the sixth annual Lutheran Studies Conference on Thursday, Sept. 29, will bring together scholars, musicians, students and college leaders who will share their expertise and their reflections on racial justice. It is an issue of particular importance for those who live in the Pacific Northwest, a region of the country marked by the often forgotten wounds of racial discrimination beginning in the early 1800s and persisting to this day.
Conference speakers and artists include:
- Dr. Doug Oakman and Dr. David Deacon-Joyner: Ideas Matter: Justice as Equality, Freedom, and Community in a Post-Enlightenment World
- PLU students Kim Bond, Meghan Gould and Theo Hofrenning: PLU Students Engage the Quest for Racial Justice
- Dr. Emily Davidson: Marginalized Memories, Critical Conversations: The Literature Classroom as a Space for Imagining Racial Justice
- Dr. Kevin O’Brien: It Doesn’t Matter If I Mean Well: What 21st Century White People Might Learn from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King
- Dr. Samuel Torvend: The Art of Social Protest: Contemporary Visual Images That Provoke, Inspire, and Challenge
- Ms. Angie Hambrick, Dr. Joanna Royce Davis and Ms. Laree Winer: Whose Story? Critical Race Theory and the (De)Construction of the PLU Narrative
Dr. John Nunes, the newly elected president of Concordia College in New York City and the first African-American to serve as president of a Lutheran college in the western hemisphere, will give the keynote address, When Grace Meets Race: One Lutheran’s View of Racial Justice.
The conference is free and open to the public. Go to the conference website for the complete schedule, presentation descriptions and speaker biographies.
Marty’s Reformation Station
Be alert to the huge heads of Martin Luther appearing on campus. Then look for his entire body (in cardboard) with an invitation to the adventurous. And finally, get ready to download the app that will lead to the numerous, very cool Luther statues created by Spencer Ebbinga, associate professor of art and design. Successful discovery of all the sites throughout the month of October and you might win you cool prizes.
Jonathan Ryan will present an organ recital in Lagerquist Hall on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. The program will include selections from J.S. Bach’s Clavierübung III, sometimes referred to as The German Organ Mass, one of the many masterpieces by the most famous of Lutheran composers. From Bach’s title page: “The third Part of the Keyboard Practice, consists of various preludes on Martin Luther’s catechism and other hymns for the organ.” Ryan will also present a lecture/demonstration on the topic of “Clavierübung III” for the Tacoma Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. This will take place on Monday, Oct. 10. For place and time, go to www.tacomaago.org
Vive la Réforme!
Inspired by the fervor of the French Revolution (without the guillotine), Lutheran Studies at PLU sponsors another blowout cocktail party in celebration of the Reformation (anticipating Oct. 31 a bit early). University House members and their friends are invited to gather at University House on Friday, Oct. 14, beginning at 5 p.m. (pray, you thirsty souls, for a short faculty meeting). Celebrity bartenders promise a new cocktail in honor of 500 years of Lutheran education and fabulous French appetizers. Then get ready for the prizes: from Luther bobble heads to attractive wine glasses to who knows what?
The David and Marilyn Knutson Lecture (both PLU alumni, David a former member of the Religion Department) will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the evening, at Lagerquist Hall. Dr. Jennifer Harvey, professor of religion at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, will speak. Her title is From Ferguson to Charleston: Religious Faith, Righteous Feminists, and Holy Fire.
The Faculty Memo That Sparked a Revolution
October 31, 1517, marks the day on which Martin Luther sent a memo to his faculty colleagues at the University of Wittenberg. The “memo” included 95 theses for discussion and debate concerning the sale of spiritual favors in Germany, a sale approved by a pope who had emptied the Vatican Treasury for the sake of his personal and expensive pursuits. The Theses were published on the new and revolutionary communications breakthrough – the printing press – and went viral throughout Europe. The theses not only called into question the selling of what Luther argued should be free (God’s forgiveness), but also called into question the entire system that supported this “spiritual economy,” including its leader in Rome. Campus Ministry is planning a series of events on Monday, Oct. 31 to mark the 499th anniversary of the Reformation. Look for the schedule at the Campus Ministry webpages.
Dec. 8 from 8 to 9:30 p.m., Lagerquist Concert Hall in MBR
“Sounds of Christmas” with a Reformation choral work performed by University Singers and Men’s Chorus and directed by Associated Director of Choral Studies Brian Galante. Tickets for “Sounds of Christmas” are available online.
Friday, Feb. 10 – 10:30 a.m. – Lower campus (corner of Park Ave. S. & 125th St. S.)
Throughout the world, Lutheran colleges and churches are planting Luthergartens (“Gardens”) with seeds or saplings from Wittenberg, Germany, or saplings native to one’s region in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reform movement that gave birth to Lutheran education. PLU is opting to plant five trees native to our region, one for each of the four ELCA Pacific Northwest Synods that sponsor PLU, and one in honor of the university. Lutheran bishops from the Pacific Northwest synods will join university faculty, administrators and students in the planting.
The image of the Tree of Life appears in African, Christian, Jewish and Muslim artwork, as well as in the spiritual ethos of Western Washington native tribes who honor the yellow and red cedar. Follow this link to the Lutheran Studies lecture given by Dr. Gail Ramshaw, in which she discusses the Tree of Life in Jewish and Christian spirituality.
Sunday, Feb. 12 (Opening) – Scandinavian Cultural Center
Elisabeth Ward, director of the center, has prepared a narrative exhibit that traces the establishment of Lutheran schools from the Midwest to the West: the challenges educators faced, the cooperation they offered each other,and the distinctive dimensions of Lutheran education they provided. The exhibit can be viewed during regular hours when the center is open to the public.
Hours: Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 23 – 6 p.m. – Ingram 100
PLU Lecturer in Art Mare Blocker will use selected pages from the Saint John’s Bible to lead a workshop in practicing Visio Divina, a contemplative, repetitive, prayerful viewing of the illuminations on the page. This technique invites the participant to slow down and see the entire image. Workshop participants will identify symbols that represent the divine within themselves and use them to make collages, drawings and poems.
Wednesday, March 15 – 4 p.m. – Hauge 101
Fr. Eric Hollas, O.S.B, of Saint John’s Abbey, former director of the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library and first promoter of the Saint John’s Bible, will speak on the role of the artist as interpreter of Scripture: the artist as visual preacher of the Word of God. Fr. Hollas’ knowledge of the Saint John’s Bible and his engaging manner of discussing the illuminations’ interpretations of the text will provide an excellent opportunity for teachers, musicians, artists, and preachers to engage the Saint John’s Bible and use its images in their own settings. This event is free and open to the university and to the public.
Wednesday, March 15 – 8 p.m. – Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center
Members of the university’s choral and jazz groups will present Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts.” Dr. Doug Oakman (PLU Religion as well as an expert in the music of Duke Ellington) will offer comments during the musical presentation. Illuminations from the Saint John’s Bible will be featured throughout the concert.
Wednesday, April 19 – 7:30 p.m. – Scandinavian Cultural Center
Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of Religion, will complete his term as University Chair in Lutheran Studies in summer 2017. This presentation serves as his farewell lecture as University Chair (though he will continue to teach in the Department of Religion). His lecture will focus on the rarely researched topic of Nazi persecution of gay men from 1933 to 1945. Robert Oelbermann was a Lutheran naturalist; his imprisonment, torture, and death at the hands of the Nazi regime signifies the brutal repression of a sexual minority that once enjoyed considerable freedom throughout Germany. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Sunday, April 23 – 3 p.m. – Lagerquist Concert Hall in MBR
The Lyric Brass Quintet will perform “Luther, Seven Scenes for Brass Quintet” composed by PLU music professor emeritus Jerry Kracht, in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17 – Pacific Lutheran University
For the first time in many years, the Southwestern Washington Synod will hold its annual assembly at PLU. In addition to conducting its normal business, the assembly will feature PLU professors discussing the future of the Lutheran reform movement in the Pacific Northwest. And synod delegates will be able to search the campus for Marty’s Reformation Station with their smart phones.
The Saint John’s Bible arrived at PLU in August 2016, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. In late summer 2017, we bid farewell to this extraordinary work of art. At the same time, we look forward to a new exhibit in the Mortvedt Library focused on the Luther Bible and other artifacts from the Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the University Art Collection.
Monday, Sept. 11-Monday, Nov. 5 – Mortvedt Library
This exhibit will feature Luther’s German Bible, published in 1522 at the beginning of the Lutheran reformation, as well as other books, manuscripts, and artwork of the period. As The Economist and The New York Times have noted, Luther was a media pioneer who used every form of communication available and every art medium to promote a new vision of Christianity and its radical commitment to education for all persons. For more go to The New York Times’ “Long Before Twitter, Martin Luther Was a Media Pioneer.”
Thursday, Sept. 28 – 1-5 p.m. – Scandinavian Cultural Center
The Lutheran Studies Conference will focus on vocal music, singing in the Lutheran tradition and universities and colleges.
Thursday, Sept. 28 – 7 p.m. – Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center
Under the direction of Dr. David Cherwien, the National Lutheran Choir has become one of the top-ranked choral ensembles in North America. A center of musical excellence, PLU welcomes this distinguished choir as they present a concert marking the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. While tickets are free, they must be secured on the campus prior to the concert. Look for more information on the PLU website in August 2017.
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7 – Trinity Lutheran Church
This theatrical production, sponsored by the PLU German Department and Trinity Church Parkland, features the Holger Teschke play set in 16th century Germany. Teschke, of the Ernst Büsch School of the Theater Arts in Berlin, is the playwright and will be directing the acting ensemble. Look for more information on the overview of the play, the time, and ticket sales at the PLU website in September.
Tuesday, October 31
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther distributed a document to his faculty colleagues at the University of Wittenberg, a document with 95 theses that called into question the spiritual economy of the late medieval church and criticized the pope who sanctioned the sale of spiritual favors of dubious repute. For 500 years, Lutherans and other Protestant Christians have celebrated the beginning of the Reformation on this date.
PLU will mark this significant day in the history of Lutheran education with a variety of events on campus. Stay tuned for updates on this calendar for more information.
Tuesday, Nov. 7 – Lagerquist Concert Hall in Mary Baker Russell
The PLU Religion Department sponsors this lecture in honor of two alumni, David and Marilyn Knutson. We welcome Dr. Ulrich Duchrow, Professor of Theology at the University of Heidelberg and leader of the international Radicalizing Reformation Project. The lecture is free and open to the public.