The Rev. Dr. Mark Swanson will join the faculty at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago on July 1, 2006 as professor of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations.
"Dr. Swanson is a leader in the world of Christian-Muslim dialogue and scholarship," said Kathleen D. Billman, LSTC's dean of academic affairs. "He is an outstanding teacher as well as a globally-recognized scholar who has developed keen insights into the Lutheran tradition as it relates to interfaith relations and to Christian-Muslim relations in particular. LSTC has long recognized the importance of preparing leaders to engage in interfaith dialogue and relationships as a key dimension of theological education in the 21st century. We expect Dr. Swanson both to build on strong foundations and lead us in exciting future directions."
Swanson holds a doctorate from the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome. He earned the master of arts degree in religious studies (Islamic studies) from the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and the master of divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.
From 1984-1998, Swanson taught Greek, New Testament exegesis, and Arabic Christian theology at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. He joined the faculty of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. in 1998, where he has been director of the Islamic Studies Program. With his spouse, the Rev. Rosanne Swanson, he has served parishes in Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy.
"There are wonderful resources for Christian-Muslim relations at LSTC," said Swanson. "I very much look forward to joining the faculty there. I think it will be an exciting place to do the sort of work I do."
Swanson's writings include numerous articles on the Arabic Christian theological and churchly heritage, especially as it relates to Islam. Since 1998, he has given lectures and workshops for over 100 church groups on the topics of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations.