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Reformation & Resilience

Lutheran Higher Education for Planetary Citizenship

Ernest Simmons and Erin Hemme Froslie, editors

Five hundred years ago the Protestant Reformation became a major turning point in Western history. Born in a university setting, the dialectical interaction of the life of the mind and the life of faith has been a hallmark of Lutheran higher education from the beginning. Luther insisted on the Christian life being lived right in the midst of the world so that the resources of faith must be brought to play on daily life and work. This means that a sharp distinction between the sacred and the secular cannot be drawn for the Lutheran tradition. All of the finite world can in some way be revelatory of God and must therefore be kept in constant relationship with faith. One of the central tasks of a liberal arts college of the church is to maintain this dialectical interaction between faith and learning, and so it is highly appropriate at this time to undertake reflection upon the beginning of the Lutheran tradition, the Protestant Reformation, and its continued relevance.

As Concordia College observes this anniversary, it is important to ask what is in need of reform today and what resilience remains within the tradition to help effect such reform? At its core, Lutheran liberal arts education emphasized preparation for vocation in service to neighbor. Today, the understanding of “neighbor” must be expanded to include all faith traditions and the natural world. The thesis of this book is that Lutheran liberal arts education must move beyond an anthropocentric to an ecocentric understanding of vocation in order to foster planetary citizenship and sustainability leadership.
  • “Whole Self: In a time of constant distraction and clashing ideals, we will lead our students into a life-long habit of reflection on their identity, purpose, and leadership in a deeply interconnected world.”
  • “Whole Life: In a time of rapidly shifting work environments, we will guide our students to complete a baccalaureate composed not of an atomized collection of credits but of a coherent and increasingly challenging experience to build competence, creativity, and character.” 
  • “Whole World: In a time of heightened national and international distrust, we will open the world to our students so that they understand and embrace the call to national and global citizenship.” 
  • The fifth section, “Whole College” is not a specific category of the strategic plan but is implied throughout the plan as the wholeness of the college is addressed.
  • The book ends with a section on case studies to provide some concrete examples of best practices and applications for developing planetary citizenship and sustainability leadership.

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Reformation & ResilienceReformation & Resilience

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ISBN: 978-1-942304-30-2
318 Pages
Size: 6 x 9
Binding: Perfect bound
Publisher: Lutheran University Press
Quantity in Basket: None
$20.00

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