Important votes at Annual Assembly

At this time there are no special votes or bylaw changes planned for this year’s Annual Assembly business meeting.


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Please note there is a change in the Forum speaker, see flyer and the Forum bios for complete details.


We regret that Martin Marty is experiencing fatigue and will not be able to present at our Forum. We have put together the following panel – after each Reformation expert speaks on their topic (listed in bold) we will have an hour after lunch for Q and A. Thank you to these sought-after experts for stepping in to bring us a great Forum Panel for 2017.

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Woodruff Tait
(Rev. Dr. Woodruff Tait will speak on why anyone would care about the relevance of the Reformation for today and other historical perspectives)

The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Woodruff Tait is editor of Christian History magazine, which recently released a four-issue series commemorating the Reformation and an accompanying video. She is also the author of The Poisoned Chalice, content editor at The High Calling, and editor of Theological Librarianship. A native of Bloomington-Normal, she was formerly a clergy member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the UMC and is now an Episcopal priest serving a parish in Eastern Kentucky. She lives in Richmond, KY, with her family, but still remains a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Rev. Dr. Kurt K Hendel
(Dr. Hendel plans to focus on Luther’s doctrine of justification. The most efficient way of exploring that doctrine is to comment on a series of prepositional phrases that summarize Luther’s perspectives quite nicely, namely, “justification by grace, through faith, for the sake of Christ, apart from works.” He plans to analyze each of these four aspects of the doctrine briefly, with the hope that an overview of the chief aspects of Luther’s justification theology is helpful.)

Kurt K. Hendel is the Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor Emeritus of Reformation History at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, IN; the Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO; and the Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany and conducted post-doctoral research at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Dr. Hendel is an ordained clergyperson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served as a professor at Concordia Seminary, Christ Seminary-Seminex, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His teaching, research, and writing interests have focused on Martin Luther and his theology, the Lutheran Confessions, and Reformation history. The recent publication of the two-volume set, Johannes Bugenhagen: Selected Writings, marks the completion of a lengthy research project on the life and publications of the Pomeranian reformer who served as Luther’s pastor and colleague in Wittenberg.

Dr. Richard Anderson
(Catholic Reformation and the spiritualism that came out of the Reformation)

Richard Anderson is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Chicago and is a Senior Lecturer for the Forum, the congregation’s primary adult education program. A graduate of St. Olaf College, he received his doctorate in religious, social, and urban history from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Martin Marty, Jerald Brauer, and Daniel Boorstin. Anderson has been active in ecumenical and interreligious activities for over 50 years, was a member of the Jewish-Lutheran Dialogue for Metropolitan Chicago, has lectured on the history of Islam, and has participated in numerous Lutheran-Catholic-Jewish events. His presentations at the Forum and at other churches have ranged in subject matter from Biblical archaeology and Christian origins to anti-Semitism and Fundamentalist Christianity. He is also the editor of several booklets dealing with the history of Immanuel congregation, Lutheranism, and Islam.

Rev. Dr. Robert Saler, Ph.D
(Dr. Saler will speak on Bonhoeffer as an ecumenical contribution (encompassing, both Catholic and Protestant motifs) in moving the legacy of the Reformation(s) forward, particularly about how his thoughts on religious community frame his thinking on specifically incarnational secularity and “thick” baptismal identity.)

Robert Saler is Associate Dean and Research Professor of Lutheran Studies at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence. He received his BA summa cum laude from Valparaiso University, an MA in theology from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and the M.Div., Th.M. and Ph.D. (with distinction) from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He has pursued additional study at the University of Notre Dame and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York.
Saler’s research interests encompass both historical and systematic theology. He has published numerous scholarly articles in areas such as postmodernism, hermeneutics, early modern theology (particularly around the European Reformation and its legacy), ecological theology, and ecclesiology. He served as contributing editor for Fortress Press’ revised editions of the textbooks The Christological Controversy and The Trinitarian Controversy (Fortress Press, 2012). His articles and reviews have appeared in such publications as Pro Ecclesia, The Christian Century, Currents in Theology and Mission, The Cresset, American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, Expositions, and The Lutheran Forum. His books include Between Magisterium and Marketplace: A Constructive Account of Theology and the Church (Fortress, 2014) and Theologia Crucis (Cascade, 2016). He is currently editing a volume on Arvo Part and theology.


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