For the 500th

Wittenberg University to Host Several Events to Commemorate 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

In posting his famed Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther ushered in the Reformation, which has helped shape the course of Western Christianity for 500 years.

In commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Wittenberg University will host a series of special events including the annual Kenneth H. Sauer Luther Symposium to help understand this movement’s impact and continuing legacy.

Part of the 2017-2018 Wittenberg Series, the Sauer Symposium will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in historic Weaver Chapel. Joy A. Schroeder, a Luther theologian, will present Neither Safe Nor Right to go Against Conscience: Martin Luther and Argula von Grumbach on Freedom of Conscience.

Schroeder, professor of religion, holds the Bergener Chair in Theology and Religion, a joint appointment at Capital University and Trinity Lutheran Seminary, both located in the Columbus, Ohio, area. She is a prolific scholar and lecturer, working in the areas of feminism in medieval thought and Old Testament studies.

Also an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor, Schroeder is an expert in medieval and Reformation history, the history of biblical interpretation and the history of women in the church. She regularly speaks to congregations and at continuing education events for clergy throughout the country.

She received her master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame and is the author of Deborah’s Daughters: Gender Politics and Biblical Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2014), Dinah’s Lament: The Biblical Legacy of Sexual Violence in Christian Interpretation (Fortress, 2007), two volumes in the Eerdmans Bible in Medieval Tradition translation series, The Book of Genesis (2015) and The Book of Jeremiah (2017), as well as numerous articles on church history and theology.

Named the inaugural recipient of Capital University’s Faculty Scholar Award, which represents the third pillar of recognition that a faculty member has reached an advanced level of achievement and contribution to the university, Schroeder has amassed a collection of scholarly articles, critical book reviews and denominational publications that translate and interpret church history – and particularly the history of women – into important insights that inform both historical and contemporary understanding. Above all, she challenges her students by setting the same high expectations in the classroom that she has realized with her own scholarship.

In addition to her address, Schroeder will participate in a question-and-answer session at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Weaver Chapel.

Other campus events surrounding the Reformation include:

  • This Is Most Certainly True, a performance by the Wittenberg Symphonic Band under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Brandon Jones at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, Weaver Chapel. Wittenberg was part of a consortium of 26 Lutheran colleges and universities to commission James Stephenson to compose a work commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The Wittenberg Symphonic Band will give the Ohio premiere of the piece.

  • The Reformation in Print: Publications and Medals from the Thomas Library Collection, presented by Suzanne Smailes, head of technical services, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, Thomas Library.

  • Festival Service to Commemorate the Reformation at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, Weaver Chapel. This service commemorates the 500th anniversary and thanks God in word, prayer and song for the reconciliation in the Gospel that is occurring among Lutherans, Catholics and other Christians in the one, universal Church. The service will include the participation of both Catholic and Lutheran clergy, and laypersons of a variety of Christian traditions.

  • The Entire Life of Believers is One of Repentance: A Re-enactment of the Posting of the Ninety-Five Theses at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, Weaver Chapel front plaza. This re-enactment of Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-Five Theses will consider the significance of the event for society today.

  • Wittenberg Choir Reunion Concert at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Weaver Chapel.

For more details click here.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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