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Fourth Annual Luther Lecture: “Luther Then, Bonhoeffer Now”


Luther Then, Bonhoeffer Now

Lutheran Docility (a la Rom. 13) and the Call to Engage

A speech by Dr. Larry Rasmussen

The American Luther Research Center is proud to host Dr. Larry Rasmussen speaking on Martin Luther’s influence on the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This is the fourth in a series of annual Luther lectures showing the impact and relevance of Martin Luther in today’s world.

No theologian influenced German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer more than Martin Luther.

At the center was Luther’s theology of the cross; yet Bonhoeffer loved his conservative Prussian culture. The rise to power of German fascism in 1933 was the (Luther-land) crisis that led Bonhoeffer to a deep critique of not only Germany but also the West, or what he called “Euro-American civilization.”

Bonhoeffer’s prison thoughts look to a future of unprecedented human knowledge, technology and power (world-come-of-age). For an era very different from Luther’s, Bonhoeffer’s thoughts are an uncanny premonition of challenges before us.

So, asks Dr. Larry Rasmussen, what do we make of them for our own political and religious vocation? How do we “claim Christ for a world-come-of-age”?

Schedule of Events

10:00 Registration

10:30 Session 1 – A Political Theology of the Cross: Luther’s Impact on Bonhoeffer

11:30 Break

11:45 Session 2 – 1933: The Crisis for Western Religion and Morality

12:30 Lunch

1:00 Session 3 – How to Claim Christ for a World-Come-of-Age

1:30 Question and Answer Session

2:00 Adjourn


There is no charge to attend “Luther Then, Bonhoeffer Now” but reservations are required.

R.S.V.P. by Monday, September 15 to Sandra Bauer at 972-241-3545 or sbauer@international-capital.com.

Larry L. Rasmussen is one of the world’s foremost Christian environmental ethicists. A Minnesota native, he studied history and philosophy at St. Olaf College and received a bachelor of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in 1965. After earning his Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 1970, he served as an assistant professor of religion at St. Olaf and a professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary. In 1986 he was appointed Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, retiring in 2004. He was co-moderator of the Justice, Peace and Creation unit of the World Council of Churches from 1990 to 2000.

Dr. Rasmussen has mentored a generation of Christians in eco-theology and “green religion.” He spearheaded the “greening” at Union Theological Seminary as an institution and rooted his courses and scholarship in the practice of environmental justice with communities and community leaders.

He has published more than a dozen books, including the landmark, award-winning Earth Community, Earth Ethics. He is currently directing a 10-year project on Earth-honoring Christianity at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

The American Luther Research Center is an ecumenical, interfaith organization created to foster a profound understanding of the historical, cultural, theological and educational values of Martin Luther and the Reformation. The Center’s Luther Lecture Series leads up to October 31, 2017, and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.


October 2, 2014
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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The American Luther Research Center
972-241-3545, ext. 311