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About the conference

This fifth annual conference invites participants to consider the ancient legacy of Jewish and Christian separation; Christian sponsored anti-Judaism, especially as that polemic appeared in the German reformer, Martin Luther; the artistic treasures shared by Jews and Christians; healing practices among Jews and Christians; and the re-shaping of this troubled relationship over the past 50 years through Lutheran and Jewish commitments to reconciliation. Let us be clear: some religious communities are marked by a “closed particularity,” an unwillingness to listen, converse, and learn from the other. Yet here at PLU, a Lutheran university devoted to inter-religious dialogue, there is a place where scholarly understanding and genuine friendship are fostered: an “open particularity” that welcomes the wisdom and practices of many traditions.

The annual Lutheran Studies Conference provides an opportunity for the university, the larger community, and persons from diverse religious and humanistic viewpoints to explore particular and pressing issues within the thoughtful and generous milieu of Lutheran higher education. Each conference welcomes scholars, artists, and religious leaders whose expertise is offered in an engaging and thought-provoking manner. Past conferences have been devoted to the limited gift of water (2011), political commitments (2012), the figure of Jesus of Nazareth (2013), and justice in society (2014). As a university of the church, PLU promotes the 500 year Lutheran tradition of asking difficult questions, welcoming opposing viewpoints in civil conversation, nurturing a community of intellectual charity, and challenging students, alumni, and friends to promote a just, peaceful, and sustainable way of life for all, not just the privileged few.