Lutheran Bishops from Sweden and South Africa Will Visit Yale Divinity School

Bishop Martin Lind of Linkoping, Sweden, and Manas Buthelezi, lately retired bishop of the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Africa, will be featured guests at a two-day colloquium at the Yale Divinity School on October 23-24.

The Lutheran Studies Program at Yale and Yale University Divinity School, in cooperation with Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, are hosting the event.

While at the Divinity School, Lind and Buthelezi will preach and preside at morning worship and meet with students and faculty in several settings. They will lead discussion at the joint Episcopal-Lutheran Colloquium, meet with Lutheran bishops and other area clergy, and attend an organ recital by Yale University organist, Martin Jean, at Bethesda Lutheran Church.

Buthelezi has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Africa, an STM from Yale, and a Ph.D. from Drew University. He has taught at Heidelberg University. Regarded as a leading representative of theological reflection in Africa, Buthelezi was banned from his position as Director of the Natal Region of the Christian Institute of Southern Africa in 1975, a decision that was revoked only after massive international protests. He is a member of the Study Commission of the Lutheran World Federation and the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. He is co-author of “Essays in Black Theology.” He retired as bishop of the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa last February.

Lind has served as bishop of Linkoping, Sweden, since 1995. He was formerly rector for the Pastoral Institute in Lund, a theological teacher in India and “Doompost” in Uppsala Cathedral. His doctoral thesis in 1975 focused on Christianity and Nazism. His main interests are renewal of worship, a rediscovery of the tradition of pilgrimage and issues of church and society.

Joining the visiting bishops will be representatives from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Maria Erling, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity in North America and Global Mission; Gerald Christianson, Central Pennsylvania Synod Professor of Church History; and Gunther Gassman, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Gettysburg.

Gassman will moderate a discussion among the visiting bishops and Yale Divinity students Monday at noon in Marquand Chapel. Gassman taught at the University of Heidelberg, was a research professor at the Institute of Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, and head of the central office of the Lutheran churches in Germany. He has also served as the ecumenical officer at the Lutheran World Federation and as Director on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. His latest book, co-authored with Scott Hendrix, is “Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions.” He has been a visiting professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg since 1995.

After their visit, Lind and Buthelezi will travel to Gettysburg, where they will lecture on the theme “Episcopacy in Global Perspective” at the annual Luther Colloquium on Wednesday, October 25.

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