Christensen Symposium

Background Information

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.

2014 Christensen Symposium

Speaker: Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints

October 1, 2014

Hoversten Chapel, Augsburg College

More information to come in late summer 2014

Past Christensen Symposiums

2013   Einstein’s God: Revisiting Science and Religion in a New Century

Krista Tippet, Host/Producer of On Being

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.