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.
Twenty Lutheran theologians gathered at the Château Klingenthal outside of Strasbourg in mid-September for a colloquium on questions of Lutheran identity. The Institute is planning to a release a series of “theses” on Lutheran identity in 2017 as a contribution to the Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, which will take place in Windhoek, Namibia, in May of next year.
The Institute is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by one of the staff: A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans by adjunct professor Sarah Hinlicky Wilson.
The book’s prehistory began when Wilson participated in one of the meetings of the “proto-dialogue” between Lutherans and Pentecostals in Zürich in 2008. The Institute conducted this dialogue for six years. She attended the next and final meeting as well, where she participated in the drafting of the proto-dialogue’s final statement, Lutherans and Pentecostals in Dialogue. Over the next several years, as the LWF worked toward establishing a formal dialogue with Classical Pentecostals, Wilson saw an increasing need for a reliable source of information and interpretation about Pentecostalism and its many varieties for Lutherans. That ultimately let to the writing of this new guide, which happily appears at the same time as the first formal dialogue meeting, which will meet in the Philippines in September.
Fifty years ago, at a meeting of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) which took place at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, a commission was formed to foster the relationship between the the two churches. With that began half a century of international Lutheran-Catholic dialogue that continues to this very day and has led to decisive ecumenical progress.
This anniversary prompted the Strasbourg Institute to dedicate its fiftieth Summer Seminar to the topic of this dialogue, in cooperation with the Johann-Adam-Möhler Institute (Paderborn, Germany). From 4 to 11 July of this year, speakers who have been active participants in Lutheran-Catholic dialogue were invited to review the various phases of the dialogue.