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Dr. Darrell Jodock to speak to Lutes about inspiring racial justice through the Lutheran tradition

Posted by: Date: March 3, 2016 In: ,
Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr.

By Kari Plog '11
PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, WASH. (March 3, 2016)- Dr. Darrell Jodock says Martin Luther had a different understanding of God; one that’s grounded, not predetermined.

“God is up to something and invites you to participate in that work,” said Jodock, Bernhardson chair in Lutheran studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Jodock will underscore that point in a speaking event at Trinity Lutheran Church, across from Pacific Lutheran University’s campus, on March 11 at 10:30 a.m. The presentation, titled “The Power of Being Seen: Lutheran Perspectives on Racial Justice,” will challenge attendees to reflect on issues of racism at a personal and institutional level, as well as apply values of the Lutheran tradition in searching for solutions.

“Your participation will make a difference in how this turns out,” Jodock said of the fight for racial equity. “I hope to inspire people to find out more about the (Lutheran) tradition and to explore more fully what they can do to foster racial justice.”

Jodock recognizes how influential Lutheran commitments to learning, vocation and community engagement can be when addressing conflicted social issues. He hopes his expertise on that subject matter will resonate with students, faculty, staff and the greater from diverse ethnicities, races and religious backgrounds.

"Your participation will make a difference in how this turns out. I hope to inspire people to find out more about the (Lutheran) tradition and to explore more fully what they can do to foster racial justice. "- Dr. Darrell Jodock

The Lutheran tradition has a deep connection to the catalyst for the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s public work was born out of an admiration for the work of Martin Luther, the leader who sparked the Reformation by asking difficult questions about what most people thought was normal. Those questions led to public protests, marches and a resilient reform movement.

King was born Michael King, Jr., but when he was 5 years old his father traveled to Germany and became inspired by what he learned about Luther, eventually changing his own name and his son’s in honor of the German reformer.

Jodock said his event, coordinated by University Chair in Lutheran Studies Dr. Samuel Torvend, will challenge attendees not only to strive for similar institutional reform, but to remain focused and persistent. He said King epitomized that approach, staying remarkably focused on the end goal of equity for all and avoiding an “us-versus-them” pitfall.

Jodock is eager to meet Lutes and call them to courageously do just that – “to create justice, wholeness and peace in the world,” he said.