On Wednesday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m., Rev. Kirsi Stjerna, PhD will deliver the Annual Jewish-Christian Lecture entitled “Was Luther’s Christ a Jew?” in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room.
The lecture will be presented on the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Martin Luther was an influential figure during the Protestant Reformation whose writings, including Ninety-Five Theses, sparked the Protestant Reformation. To coincide with the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the lecture examines the relevance and problems with Martin Luther’s ‘freedom theology.’ Later in his life, Luther took radical but misinformed positions about the Jewish religion, which contributed to anti-Semitism attitudes with his rebuttal of Jewish hermeneutics of the Scriptures.
According to Stjerna, Luther’s 1523 ‘That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew’ “serves as a window to discern his actual aspirations as a Christian teacher of faith and the role of the ‘imaginary Jew’ in his defense of a Christ-centric theology of salvation. This topic is not only historically pertinent but also a contemporary concern for a faithful Christian theology in a post-Holocaust world.”
Rev. Dr. Stjerna is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. She is a professor of Lutheran History and Theology at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University, and is a core doctoral faculty member at the Graduate Theological Union and Docent on the Theological Faculty at the University of Helsinki.
Stjerna is the author of Women and the Reformation (2009), a co-editor of Encounters with Luther (2016), a general editor of the six-volume The Annotated Luther (2015-2017), and the editor of Volume 2 “Word and Faith” (2015). She co-authored Martin Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish People and co-taught at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at the 2017 Annual Faculty Seminar on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust on the topic “Martin Luther’s Theology and the Jews.”
Free and open to the public, the lecture is co-sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Center for Catholic Studies. Contact the Bennett Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066 for reservations.