Wanda Deifelt to deliver 2008 Hein-Fry Lectures at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago January 15, 2008

World-renowned theologian the Rev. Dr. Wanda Deifelt will deliver the 2008 Hein-Fry Lecture at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago on Thursday, March 13. The Lutheran church's relationship with other Christian communities throughout the world is the theme of the 2008 lectures. At 9:30 a.m., Dr. Deifelt will present "Does Lutheran theology justify fundamentalism?"  At 1:00 p.m., she will deliver the second lecture, "Advocacy and political participation: Is there a Lutheran political theology?" The Rev. Dr. Kurt K. Hendel, Bernard, Fisher, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor of Reformation History will respond to the lectures at 2:00 p.m.

The free lectures will be held in the Common Room (350) of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. A reception will follow Dr. Hendel's response.

The annual Hein-Fry Lecture Series offers free lectures to the public at each of the ELCA seminaries on pressing theological issues facing the church. The goals of the lectures are to foster original scholarship; encourage broad dialogue throughout the church on a theological topic; and to give seminary faculty, students, clergy, church leaders and other interested persons access to leading theologians.

For more details about the 2008 Hein-Fry Lectures, visit www.lstc.edu or www.elca.org/heinfry/2008/.

Dr. Deifelt holds degrees from Faculdade de Teologia da Escola Superior de Teologia da Igreja Evangelica de Confissao Luterana no Brasil, Sao Leopoldo, RS; Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill.; and Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. She served as pastor of the Lutheran congregation of Esteio, RS, from 1991 to 1995. She was dean of graduate studies and professor of systematic theology at Instituto Ecumenico de Pos-Graduacao of Escola Superior de Teolgia, Sao Leopoldo, RS, Brazil. Deifelt was the Latin American representative on the board of the Ecumenical Institute, World Council of Churches, Bossey, Switzerland. Her service to the church and in academe includes serving as a member of the editorial board of Concillium, an international theology journal; as theological advisor for the Council of the Lutheran World Federation, Standing Committee of Ecumenical Affairs; and as a member of board of the Ecumenical Institute, Strasbourg, France.

Deifelt currently serves as Associate Professor of Religion at Luther College and resides in Decorah, Iowa. She is one of the most influential feminist theologians from a Latin American context who has combined influences from contemporary European and American hermeneutics with life-experience and scholarly reflection from a Brazilian and Latin-American perspective.

Kurt K. Hendel is the first Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor of Reformation History at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. In addition, Hendel is director of LSTC's master of arts program.

Before joining the LSTC faculty in 1983, Hendel taught at Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Mo. An ordained minister, Hendel served as assistant to the pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church, University City, Mo., from 1974-83.

Hendel is the author of numerous articles on Reformation and church history. He is currently engaged in a lengthy research project on the 16th-century reformer, Johannes Bugenhagen. His translation and commentary on Bugenhagen's sermon at Martin Luther's funeral can be found at: http://chaucer.library.emory.edu/luther/luther_site/luther_frame.html.

Hendel holds degrees from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind., Concordia Seminary, and Ohio State University, Columbus. From 1980-81, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Göttingen and conducted post-doctoral research at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Germany.


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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.

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