The annual Christensen Symposium-first held in 1990-is made possible through the Christensen Endowment, which was established by alumni and friends of Augsburg to honor Bernhard M. Christensen. As the president of Augsburg College and Seminary from 1938 to 1962, Christensen was a central figure in drawing Augsburg fully into the study of the liberal arts.
The Symposium is designed to reflect and reinforce the principles to which Christensen showed such deep commitment: academic integrity, the Christian Gospel, and a mutually supportive relationship with the church. In addition, it serves as a vehicle for the Augsburg community to explore and apply the five lessons that are Christensen’s legacy:
o Christian faith liberates minds and lives.
o Diversity strengthens vital communities.
o Interfaith friendships enrich learning.
o The love of Christ draws us to God.
o We are called to service in the world.
2013 Christensen Symposium
Einstein’s God: Revisiting Science and Religion in a New Century
October 1, 2013 at 11:00am
Speaker: Krista Tippet, Host/Producer of On Being
Hoversten Chapel, Augsburg College
Past Christensen Symposiums
2012 The Holiness of Common Ground
Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core
See a video of Eboo Patel’s talk
2011 The Food Fight: Dispute in Biblical Testimony
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary professor emeritus of Old Testament, minister of the United Church of Christ
View the symposium poster (PDF)
2010 Devoutly Would He Teach: The Legacy of Bernhard M. Christensen
Gracia Grindal, Professor of Rhetoric, Luther Seminary
2009 The Most Important Number on Earth: Climate Change and Moral Challenge
Bill McKibben, Middlebury College
2008 Costly Discipleship: Forgiveness as a Practice/ Costly Citizenship: Regarding the Other in a Culture of Fear
Martha E. Stortz, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary/The Graduate Theological Union
2007 Everyday Life in Light of the Gospel
Rolf Jacobson, Luther Seminary
2006 Being Christians after Christendom/Caring for Life in a Violent World
Douglas John Hall, retired, McGill University
2005 Faith and Politics
Garry Wills, Northwestern University
2004 Christian Faith and the Liberal Arts
Kathleen Norris, poet and writer
2003 Changing the Business of Business: Vocation in the Marketplace
Brad Anderson, Best Buy Co., Inc.
2002 How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind
Richard T. Hughes, Pepperdine University
2001 Global and Local Neighbors: Christian Faith across Cultures
Lamin Sanneh, Yale University
2000 Changing Cosmologies and the Church
Owen Gingerich, Harvard University, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
1999 Spiritual and Racial Diversity in the Context of the City
James Forbes Jr., The Riverside Church, New York
1998 The Faithful Skeptic
Dick Hardel, Youth and Family Institute
Donald Juel, Princeton Theological Seminary
1997 Listening across Differences
Michael Roan, Tandem Project
Roland Miller, Luther Seminary
1996 The Liberating Arts: Hildegard of Bingen
Anne H. King-Lenzmeier, University of St. Thomas
Bruce Wood Holsinger, University of Colorado
1995 Surprised by Faith: The Spiritual Journey of C.S. Lewis
James Como, City University of New York
Paul L. Holmer, retired, Yale University
Peter J. Schakel, Hope College
1994 Discipleship and Life: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
James Burtness, Luther Seminary
Mary Glazener, writer
Jonathan Sorum, Lutheran pastor
1993 How Can a Christian College be Diverse?
George Marsden, University of Notre Dame
1992 Christian Faith and Public Life
1991 The Inward Journey
Gracia Grindal ’65, Luther Seminary
1990 Our Calling: A Symposium on Christian Life and Faith
Gerald O. Barney, Institute for 21st-Century Studies
For more information, see Augsburg’s convocation series.