On May 12, two Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) scholars from opposite sides of the globe will lead Bible studies during the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) virtual conference on ecological justice. LSTC Professor of New Testament Barbara Rossing and LSTC alumnus Dr. Monica Melanchthon, professor at MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia, will be part of the internet-based conference, “green&just.” During the conference, people from around the world will be able be connected in real time for keynote addresses, webinars and Bible studies focused on the connection between poverty eradication and care for creation.
Addressing climate change using a small ecological footprint
“One of the key objectives of the LWF is to facilitate trans-contextual encounters between our member churches,” says LWF General Secretary the Rev. Martin Junge. “With this virtual conference we are entering new ground by using a very small ecological footprint to make real- time learning and conversation possible for a larger number of people.”
One of the resolutions from LWF’s July 2010 Assembly was a call to all LWF member churches to consolidate and enhance their efforts to address the impacts of climate change on development and poverty, particularly for vulnerable communities. “Online initiatives such as the virtual conference are needed in order to give greater recognition to issues that have devastating impact mainly on marginalized communities throughout the world,” affirms the general secretary.
Registration for the conference is free of charge. The technical requirements are a computer with Internet connection and standard Internet software. Access is also possible for mobile devices with Internet connection. Detailed information and registration is athttp://blogs.lutheranworld.org/wordpress/greenandjust/.
About Dr. Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon
Church worker, theological educator, and a student of the Bible, Dr. Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon belongs to the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church, India. She began teaching Old Testament and Hebrew Bible Studies at the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai, India, in 1995. Beginning in May 2012, Dr. Melanchthon will be part of the United Faculty of Theology, MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia.
A graduate of the United Theological College, Bangalore, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Ph.D.), Dr. Melanchthon is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and sits on the advisory board of its International Cooperation Initiative. She is currently the co-editor general of the online publication series International Voices in Biblical Studies (IVBS). She is on the editorial boards of several journals including Dialog. She also is the secretary to the Society of Asian Biblical Studies.
Dr. Melanchthon has contributed to study projects of the Lutheran World Federation and has participated regionally and internationally in programs related to gender, interfaith dialog, Bible, mission, theology, development, and theological education initiated by the LWF and the World Council of Churches. She has strong commitments to the politically, socially, economically, environmentally marginalized, who, in the Indian context, are the poor, women and Dalits. She has contributed toward developing Dalit and Indian Feminist hermeneutics and theologies, and interpretation of Biblical texts drawing on insights from the social biographies of these communities, their perspectives and their lived experiences.
About Dr. Barbara Rossing
An LSTC faculty member since 1994, Barbara Rossing has received national attention as the author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation a critique of fundamentalist "Left Behind" theology. Her other works include the 2010 – 2011 Horizons Bible Study Journey through Revelation: Apocalyptic Hope for Today published by Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church, The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse. Her chapter "Prophets, Prophetic Movements and the Voices of Women" appears in A People's History of Christianity. Rossing has also published articles and book chapters on Revelation and ecology
Rossing is a frequent lecturer in LWF and ecumenical settings. She led the LWF delegation to the United Nations 2009 Copenhagen and 2010 Cancun climate change summits. She has also participated in World Council of Churches meetings on climate change. Rossing has served as chaplain to Harvard Divinity School, pastor and teacher at the Holden Village retreat center, and pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn. She served on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation, where she also chaired the Lutheran World Federation’s theology and studies committee.
An avid environmentalist, Rossing is involved with environmental initiatives at LSTC and team teaches the course The Future of Creation.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.