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Christensen Symposium Archive 1990-2015


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:

  • Christian faith liberates minds and lives.
  • Diversity strengthens vital communities.
  • Interfaith friendships enrich learning.
  • The love of Christ draws us to God.
  • We are called to service in the world.

For more information, see all Christensen Symposium posts.

2015  Living Religion
Richard Rodriguez, author

2014   The spirituality of being a total screw-up
Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints

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