A Lutheran Approach to Interfaith Neighborliness

Presentation by Martha E. Stortz, Ph.D.

Date & Time:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 12:00 noon - 1:10 p.m.


free and open to the public


Iversen Hearth Room (room 340), Anderson Student Center
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus
2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN


refreshments and cookies provided; please bring your own lunch

Martha E. Stortz, Ph.D.

Martha E. Stortz, Ph.D.

This session is part three of a six part series running through the 2018-2019 academic year titled Encountering Religious and Cultural Traditions: A Series Fostering Religious Literacy and Interreligious Understanding. In this session, Dr. Martha E. Stortz will discuss why interfaith work and neighborliness is not a luxury but a necessity for Lutherans in their approach to other religious traditions.

Renowned scholar of religion Wilfred Cantwell Smith argued that in order to “understand Buddhists, we must not look at something called Buddhism but at the world so far as possible through Buddhist eyes.” Likewise, in order to understand Judaism, Hinduism, and so on, we must not look at Judaism, Hinduism and so on, but at the worldviews of Jews, Hindus, and so. In his New York Times Bestseller, Religious Literacy, Stephen Prothero writes “I am convinced that one needs to know something about the world’s religions in order to be truly educated,” and argues that “you need religious literacy in order to be an effective citizen.” This year-long series aims to foster religious literacy and interreligious understanding by examining the world through the eyes of religious scholars and practitioners from various traditions, especially our locally lived traditions in Minnesota. The presenters will share their own lived experiences of the traditions and address any common stereotypes and misconceptions. 

Dr. Martha “Marty” Ellen Stortz holds the Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation at Augsburg University where she teaches in the Department of Religion. From 1981 to 2010, she taught at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, where she also served as a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, California. Dr. Stortz, who received her Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and her Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, is a distinguished theologian whose scholarship includes work in historical and systematic theology, ethics, and biblical studies. She is an acclaimed teacher, scholar, and leader in the church, academy, and wider society. In addition to her many published articles, she is the author of A World According to God: Practices for Putting Faith at the Center of Your Life (2004), Blessed to Follow: The Beatitudes as a Compass for Discipleship(2008),and Called to Follow: Journeys in John’s Gospel (2017).

This event is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and cosponsored by the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas.

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.

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