Prof. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson is an Adjunct Professor of the Institute for Ecumenical Research, following her full-time service at the Institute from 2008 to 2016. Her doctoral work at Princeton Theological Seminary was on the anthropological and trinitarian framework for the Orthodox theologian Elisabeth Behr-Sigel’s endorsement of the ordination of women, which has been published as Woman, Women, and the Priesthood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel (T & T Clark, 2013). She is also the author of A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans (Wipf & Stock, 2016), and over one hundred articles in both popular and scholarly venues. Prof. Wilson is an ordained pastor in the Slovak Zion Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the editor of the American theological quarterly Lutheran Forum.

Selected Bibliography

1. Ecclesiology & Ecumenism

A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2016).

“Church Breaks Your Heart,” Lutheran Forum 41/3 (Fall 2007): 3-5. An autobiographical account of life in the church, with some comments on ecclesiology.

“One Little Word Subdues Him,” Lutheran Forum 41/4 (Winter 2007): 3-5. A brief analysis of the ELCA’s third Sexuality Study, followed by recommendations for responding to the discovery that American Lutherans are biblically illiterate.

“Peace, Peace, When There is No Peace,” Lutheran Forum 42/1 (Spring 2008): 3-6. A reflection on the excising of military imagery from church, and reasons to maintain it.

“Speak the Truth in Love,” Lutheran Forum 43/2 (Summer 2009): 2-5. Suggestions for responding to the sexuality study and ministry proposals to be voted on at the 2009 ELCA churchwide assembly.

“Ecumenical Liturgy, Its Possibilities and Problems,” Lutheran Forum 43/3 (Fall 2009): 3-9. A review of the development of ecumenical liturgies, such as the Lima Liturgy, with theological critique and suggestions for the future.

“Why Stay?” Lutheran Forum 43/4 (Winter 2009): 3-8. Arguments in favor of staying within the ELCA while dissenting from the churchwide assembly vote in 2009.

“Mildly Opposed to Infant Communion,” Lutheran Forum 44/4 (Winter 2010): 2-5. Consideration of ten arguments in favor of infant communion, and reasons why they fail to commend the practice to American Lutherans in the 21st century.

“Experiments in Gospel Translation, Part I” and “Experiments in Gospel Translation, Part II,” Lutheran Forum 46/1 & 2 (Spring & Summer 2012). Analysis of Luther’s accounts of his Bible translation practice and contemporary disputes over translating Son of God for Muslims, followed by three tests cases of gospel translation in the areas of children’s Bibles, feminism, and liturgy.

Sarah Hinlicky Wilson on Ecumenism,” Christian Leadership Center. An interview about topics of current ecumenical interest.

Life on the Ecclesiastical Frontier: Searching for a Church,” Christian Century 129/16 (August 8, 2012): 22-25. Reflections on participating in the life of three different churches in Strasbourg.

“Spiritless Lutheranism, Fatherless Pentecostalism, and a Proposed Baptismal-Christological Corrective,” Pneuma 34 (2012): 415-429.

“Six Ways Ecumenical Progress Is Possible,” Concordia Journal 39/4 (2013): 310–32.

“Reflections Five Years into Ecumenism.” Lutheran Forum 47/3 (Fall 2013).

“Gudina Tumsa Forum: The Challenge of African Churches in the Ecumenical Discussion with Special Reference to Ethiopia,” in Ecumenical Challenges: Working in Love, Transforming Lives, Journal of the Gudina Tumsa Theological Forum 3 (April 2013): 47–64.

“Lament for a Divided Church: Why the ecumenical movement keeps working to overcome the fraying of the body of Christ,” Christianity Today (March 2014): 36–39.

“Sounds in Enemy-Love Ecclesiology,” Review of A Brutal Unity by Ephraim Radner, Pro Ecclesia 23/3 (2014): 255–261.

“Doing Theology in Service of the Church,” in On Being the Church in These Precarious Times, ed. Carl E. Braaten (Delhi: ALPB, 2014).

“Repent and Celebrate: The Reformation after 500 Years,” with Tal Howard. Christian Century (June 30, 2015).

“The Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France,” Ecumenism (Summer-Fall 2015): 50–51.

2. Luther & Lutheranism

“An Ecumenical Luther,” Review of the film Luther. Books & Culture (January/February 2004). A review of the Joseph Fiennes film about Luther’s early life.

“Lutheran Snobbery,” The Cresset (Easter 2007). Some reflections on growing up Lutheran and what an adult decision to remain Lutheran means.

“A Thousand Miles in the Footsteps of Martin Luther,” The Wall Street Journal (August 20, 2010). Invitation to follow the author and her husband’s re-enactment of Martin Luther’s pilgrimage from Erfurt to Rome, 500 years after the fact.

Here I Walk, I Cannot Do Otherwise,” First Things. August 19, 2010. Another invitation to follow the walk to Rome.

“Joyful Exchanges, Part I” and “Joyful Exchanges, Part II,” Lutheran Forum 44/2 & 3 (Summer & Fall 2010): 2-6 & 2-6. An exegesis of Luther’s use of the joyful exchange motif in “The Freedom of a Christian,” followed by the application of that motif to the practice of infant baptism, ethics, and ecumenism.

“On Rereading the Book of Concord,” Lutheran Forum 45/3 (Fall 2011). Serendipitous discoveries after reviewing the Lutheran book of Confessions.

“Law and Gospel (with Some Help from St. John),” Lutheran Forum 45/4 (Winter 2011). What the distinction between law and gospel is, what it isn’t, and examples of its scriptural embodiment in the Gospel of John.

“Here I Walk: An Ecumenical Pilgrimage,” Christian Century (April 5, 2011): 24-27. An account of the author and her husband’s thousand-mile trek from Erfurt to Rome.

“Here I Walk, an Ecumenical Pilgrimage,” Ecumenical Trends 40/7 (July/August 2011): 12–14. Another perspective on the walk to Rome, with emphasis on the response of those who followed the blog.

The Authority of the Lutheran Confessions,” Journal of Lutheran Ethics. An exploration of the understanding of authority in the Lutheran confessional documents and what it means for teachers of theology in the 21st-century Lutheran church.

“What’s His Is Ours,” Christianity Today (September 2012). An exploration of the doctrine of justification.

“The Law of God,” Lutheran Quarterly 27/4 (2013): 373–98. A study of Luther’s teaching on the law.

“Beggars All: A Lutheran View of the 2017 Reformation Anniversary,” Pro Ecclesia 25/2 (2016).

3. Doctrine

“Free to Be Creatures Again,” With Jennifer L. Bayne. Christianity Today (October 23, 2000). A personal testimony combined with doctrinal argument about the importance and relevance of the doctrine of presdestination for Christian faith today.

The Face of Jesus, Part I” and “The Face of Jesus, Part II,” Lutheran Forum 42/3 & 4 (Fall & Winter 2008): 6-11 & 3-10. A multi-level essay exploring the theological meaning and spiritual impact of various racial depictions of Jesus.

Saints for Sinners,” Lutheran Forum 43/1 (Spring 2009): 2-9. A proposal for a Lutheran understanding and practice of hagiography.

“Preaching the Trinity,” Lutheran Forum 44/1 (Spring 2010): 4-9. An exploration of the rich New Testament basis for the doctrine of the Trinity, against philosophical or even mathematical treatments of the doctrine in typical Trinity Sunday sermons.

“The Sacraments in Time, Space, and Matter.” Lutheran Forum 49/1 (Spring 2015). Considerations of the practice of the sacraments around the world.

4. Ethics

“Subversive Virginity,” First Things (October 1998). An argument that chastity is more empowering to women than promiscuity.

Essay for Symposium on Humanae VitaeFirst Things (December 1998). An argument against the Catholic position on contraception.

“Don’t Write About Race,” First Things (December 1999). A reflection on the ongoing estrangement between the races.

“Sex, the Law, and Faith,” Lutheran Forum 36/2 (Summer 2002). A commendation of the classic biblical and traditional Christian ethic regarding sexuality.

Blessed Are the Barren,” Christianity Today 51/12 (December 2007): 22-28. An exegetical and personal exploration of infertility and adoption.

“Loving Brothers, Neighbors, and Enemies.” Lutheran Forum 48/1 (2014).

“Why Preach the Law?” Lutheran Forum 49/2 (Summer 2015).

“Marriage Matters.” Lutheran Forum 49/4 (Winter 2015). A reflection on Christian sexual ethics following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States.

5. Mission

“Salvaging C. S. Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy for Mission and Cultural Awareness,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 38/3 (2014): 126–129.

“Mission in Spite of Empire: The story of Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg,” Christian Century (September 8, 2014): 26–29.

The Missionary India Never Forgot,” Christianity Today online edition, October 2, 2014.

“The Role Mission Does (or Does Not) Play in Faith and Order’s The Church,” Studi Ecumenici 32/3­–4 (2014): 355–366 [Italy] and Vox Scripturae 22/2 (2014): 91–101 [Brazil].

6. Women

Woman, Women, and the Priesthood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel. London: T & T Clark, 2013.

“Ordaining Women: Two Views,” Part II. First Things (April 2003). A response to a Catholic perspective opposed to the ordination of women, underscoring the trinitarian, christological, and anthropological reasons for ordaining women.

“The Epistle of Eutyche,” Lutheran Forum 42/2 (Summer 2008): 3-5. A satire of typical arguments against the ordination of women, in the form of a supposed letter from one medieval abbess to another, responding to the fear that God went astray in conferring the apostolic office on men.

“Tradition, Priesthood, and Personhood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel,” Pro Ecclesia 19/2 (Spring 2010): 129-150. A detailed study of Orthodox arguments against the ordination of women in the past 50 years, matched with an account of the rebuttal offered by the 20th century French Orthodox theologian Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, concluding that patriarchy and radical feminism share the same flawed assumptions about gender.

“Elisabeth Behr-Sigel—Feminist, Protestant, Orthodox? Part I: Feminism and Protestantism” and “Elisabeth Behr-Sigel—Feminist, Protestant, Orthodox? Part II: What Kind of Orthodoxy,” Sobornost 32/1 and 2 (2010). An analysis of possible sources of Behr-Sigel’s openness to the ordination of women with especial emphasis on her location within a stream of Russian Orthodoxy that flourished in Paris in the mid-twentieth century.

Ecumenical Perspectives on the Ordination of Women.” Published in Latvian at A brief overview and comparison of arguments for and against the ordination of women in different Christian traditions.

“Where Have All the Women Gone?” Lutheran Forum 47/4 (Winter 2013). A personal reflection on the reasons women become alienated from orthodox Christianity.

7. Mariology

“There’s Something About Mary,” Re:generation Quarterly 5:4 (Winter 2000). A personal story of a young Lutheran woman making peace with Mary, the mother of God, and in the process finding her vocation to ministry.

“Commentary: Of Jesus, Mary, and a gender peace for postmodernity,” UPI (December 8, 2000). An exploration of how the birth of the baby boy Jesus to the woman Mary can offer insights toward the end of the “war between the sexes.”

“Temple & Sword,” Christian History and Biography (Summer 2004). An exploration of the life of and traditions about Mary, mother of God, from the dedication of Jesus in the temple through her many “sorrows.”

8. Exegesis

“Plato was wrong” and “God on the loose,” Christian Century (December 28, 2004). Lectionary reflections on John 1 and a psalm.

“Reflections on the Lectionary (Acts 9:36-43, Acts 11:1-18),” Christian Century (April 20, 2010): 20-21. Lectionary reflections on the meaning of Christ’s resurrection and the command for Christians not to distinguish between foods.

6 Easter (May 13, 2012),” Christian Leadership Center. Lectionary commentary on Acts 10:44-48 about the inclusion of the Gentiles in the community of the gospel.

“The Second Pentecost.” Lutheran Forum 47/3 (Summer 2013). A reflection on the incorporation of the Gentiles into the early church in Acts 10–11 and the various ways the four Evangelists prepare for it.

“Learning to Love Leviticus.”  Lutheran Forum 48/4 (Winter 2014). Exactly what it sounds like!

“Luther By Means of Mark.” Lutheran Forum 50/1 (Spring 2016). Exegesis of Mark with attention to Lutheran themes, drawing connections not often made between the two.

9. Miscellaneous

“Talking to Generation X,” First Things (February 1999). A narrative theology approach to communicating the gospel to young adults.

“Seminary Sanity,” First Things (August/September 2000). A humorous look at the psychological evaluation process leading to candidacy for the ordained ministry.

“The End of Magic,” First Things (February 2002). An analysis of several classic works of fantasy fiction and how they require magic itself to end.

“The Great Reunion Beyond,” Christianity Today (February 5, 2001). A reflection on the death of the author’s grandfather.

“Decorated With Death,” Christianity Today (January 21, 2003). A reflection on the meaning of the cross as jewelry.

“The Heresy Itch,” Christianity Today (January 7, 2004). A reflection on why some people are drawn to esoteric and gnostic versions of Christianity.

“A Lutheran Reflection on C. S. Lewis.” Lutheran Forum 48/2 (Summer 2014).

“Prosperity Identified, Dissected, and Reconsidered.” Lutheran Forum 48/3 (Fall 2014). An analysis of the prosperity gospel from a Lutheran perspective.

“Whose Flannery?” Lutheran Forum 49/3 (Fall 2015). A study of Flannery O’Connor’s fiction with a critical ecumenical lens.

10. Book Reviews

“The Sexual Counterrevolution,” Review of A Return to Modesty, by Wendy Shalit. First Things (March 1999).

“SWF Seeks Suitable Mate,” Review of Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying, by Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass. Books and Culture (July/August 2000).

“Urbane Bigotry,” Review of The Close: A Young Woman’s First Year at Seminary, by Chloe Breyer. Books and Culture (September/October 2000).

“Reuniting Mary and Martha,” Review of When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference, by Carolyn Custis James. Christianity Today (October 22, 2001).

Review of Sacred Narratives, by Lucrezia Tornabuoni de’ Medici. Sixteenth Century Journal 34/1 (2003).

“I Want,” Review of Home is Always the Place You Just Left, by Betty Smartt Carter. Books & Culture (May/June 2003).

“Christ via Judaism,” Review of Girl Meets God, by Lauren Winner. Christianity Today (July 7, 2003).

Review of Satan’s Rhetoric, by Armando Maggi. Sixteenth Century Journal 35/1 (2004).

“Lower Criticism,” Review of Junia: The First Woman Apostle, by Jay Eldon Epp. Books & Culture (May/June 2006).

“A New Kind of Calvinism,” Review of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. Books & Culture (January/February 2007).

“From ‘I Do’ to ‘You Can’t,’” Review of Against Love: A Polemic, by Laura Kipnis. Books & Culture (September/October 2004).

“Ecumenical Saint,” Review of Toward the Endless Day, by Olga Lossky. Books & Culture (May/June 2010): 9.

Review of Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation, by Oswald Bayer. Journal of Lutheran Ethics.

Solus Christianus, Nullus Christianus,” Review of three books by Michael Plekon. Books & Culture (November/December 2012): 9-10.

“Oh Happy Day,” review of God and the Art of Happiness by Ellen T. Charry, Books & Culture (April 2013).

Review of The Elephant Keepers’ Children by Peter Hoeg, Books & Culture online (July 2013).

Review of The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz, Books & Culture (November-December 2013): 27–28.

Public Presentations

“The Challenges of Faithfulness: A Lutheran Perspective,” Huffington Institute, Loyola Marymount College, Los Angeles, California, March 12, 2016.

“Songs, Sinners, Saints: Soundings in Lutheran Spirituality,” Reformation Heritage Lectures, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama, October 25–31, 2015.

“Élisabeth Behr-Sigel et le rôle du laïc dans l’Église,” ACER/MJO, near Paris, October 10­–11, 2015.

“1517 in the light of 2017” and “2017 in the light of 1517” + Bible study on Mark, Metro DC assembly, June 18–21, 2015.

“Beggars All: A Lutheran View of the Reformation Anniversary,” Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, June 14­–17, 2015.

Sermon on Mark 1­–16 and colloquium on baptism, European Theological Seminary, Kniebis, Germany, April 8, 2015.

“Martin Luther at 500 and the State of Global Lutheranism,” at Gordon College Protestantism Conference, November 2013.

“Hagiography: Parallel Practice and New Possibilities for Lutherans,” Summer Seminar 2013, Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg, France.

“Gudina Tumsa Forum: The Challenge of African Churches in the Ecumenical Discussion with Special Reference to Ethiopia,” Gudina Tumsa Theological Forum, April 2013, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Luther’s Trinitarian Theology—Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 31-August 2, 2012.

Law and Gospel—Conference on Lutheran Hermeneutics and the Gospel of John in Nairobi, Kenya, September 9-14, 2011.

“Behr-Sigel’s ‘New’ Hagiography and Its Ecumenical Potential”—Conference on “Being Human, Becoming Divine: Elisabeth Behr-Sigel’s Contributions to the Church,” September 3, 2011, Strasbourg, France.

The Authority of the Lutheran Confessions—ELCA Convocation of Teaching Theologians, August 5-7, 2011

The Lutheran Legacy in the Worldwide Church—Lutheran CORE Theological Conference, August 10, 2010.

“What Has Erfurt to Do with Rome?”—Theologians-in-Residence Program, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, NC, November 15, 2010

“What Has Erfurt to Do with Rome? Ecumenism as a Pilgrimage”—Founders Day Lecture, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN, November 11, 2010.

“Seventy Days on the Road with Luther”—Colleg Wittenberg, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany, November 2, 2010.

“Lutheran Spirituality” and “Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue”—Wuerttemburg Pastors’ Retreat, Bad Herrenalb, June 29, 2010.

“Joyful Exchanges”—Czech Luther Society in Prague, Czech Republic, June 17, 2010.

“What Ecumenism Is, What It Isn’t, and Why You Should Care” and “What Happens When Lutherans Talk to Other Christians? A Crash Course in Bilateral Dialogue”—Virginia Synod Assembly, Salem, VA, June 2009.

“Fear Not! The Angel’s Guide to Ecumenism”—Lutheran Theological Seminary of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 2009.