The Institute mourns the death of two former colleagues who have died in recent months.
Many were surprised to learn already in February 2016 that Pope Francis would participate in the opening festivities of the Reformation commemoration year in Lund, Sweden, which took place on October 31. A special interest in the Reformation has been developing in the southern countries of Europe.
The year 2017 is an invitation to celebrate. At all levels of church life and in countless countries the anniversary of the 16th century Reformation will be commemorated. But that always poses the question of what exactly is to be celebrated in a situation unlike any previous Reformation centenary.
For the eighth year running, Profs. Dieter and Wilson of the Institute taught the two-week Studying Luther in Wittenberg seminar this November. They were joined by twenty participants coming from Cameroon, Ethiopia, the Gambia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, the United States, and Zimbabwe.
In September the very first gathering of the new International Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue took place at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio City in the Philippines, with the Institute’s adjunct professor Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, author of A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans, serving as consultant.
Although this was the first formal meeting, the dialogue has been a long time in preparation. Already in the 1970s there was interest in the Lutheran World Federation to understand better the rapid growth of all kinds of Pentecostal movements around the world as well as the rise of Charismatic movements within Lutheran churches. Initially, however, these conversations were largely internal to the Lutheran family, rather than being in a situation of exchange and encounter with Pentecostal Christians.