On Saturday, October 28 at the Trost Center on Gray Road in De Forest, two scholars of church history will share their insights on the Reformation of the 16th century and its relevance for the world of the 21st century during a day-long event commemorating the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting his 95 theses for debate.
In the morning, Lee Palmer Wandel, Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Visual Culture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, will offer new understandings of the event which split apart Christianity. Her publications include The Reformation: Towards a New History and Always Among Us: Images of the Poor in Zwingli’s Zurich. In an article featured in The Huffington Post, Wandel commented on the significance of the Reformation anniversary:
What if we take this opportunity to rethink how “Protestant” and “Catholic” were constructed as oppositions in the sixteenth century, the very names reflecting the polemics of the time? What if we take the opportunity to consider how very many different understandings of “true Christianity” were preached and printed in the sixteenth century? What if we tell a story of human difference rather than divine instrument? It might help us to envision ourselves today as encompassing different visions rather than pursuing a unity.
After lunch Margaret Bendroth, Executive Director of the Congregational Library in Boston will speak about the importance of understanding the past for a “Still Speaking” church. Her publications include The Last Puritans: Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past and The Spiritual Practice of Remembering. Recently Peggy served as President of the American Society of Church History. On Sunday morning, she will also preach during 10:00 worship at First Congregational UCC in Madison.
The day begins at 9:30 with registration and at 10:00 there will be a brief liturgy of the Reformation before the Professor Wandel’s lecture at 10:30. In addition, “pilgrims” who visited Reformation sites this summer will share visuals of their experience. Registration for the lectures and lunch can be made online at www.wcucc.org. Cost for the event is $20.00. The Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ is the sponsoring organization.