Union Theological Seminary Campus




The 19th annual Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics will be held at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York  (3041 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 - at 121st and Broadway) on April 7, and 8, 2017. 

The 2017 Bonhoeffer Lectures are also Union Seminary’s contribution to the worldwide commemoration of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in 1517, with a special focus on Luther and the Lutheran tradition. This year's theme is: “Re-Forming the Church of the Future: Bonhoeffer, Luther, Public Ethics.” 

Click here to purchase tickets. 

The two-day program of lectures and panels will look back into history and forward into the future 

Friday, April 7 will look back into history, particularly to Bonhoeffer’s theology and activities in National Socialist Germany, but also to North America, with special attention to the conflicting ways the Lutheran Reformation played out.

Saturday, April 8 will look primarily into the future, and consider how Bonhoeffer’s theology and ethics can contribute to creative new movements in the Christian community’s public presence. Issues of church and state in pluralistic democracies, economic justice, resistance to racism, globalization, ecology and climate change, and re-forming the public voice of the church will challenge speakers to suggest how learning from the past may re-form the churches of the future.

Sunday, April 9 is both Palm Sunday and the 72ndanniversary of the death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Conference participants may worship as guests of the church where Bonhoeffer served as a teacher in 1931, Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

Please see the Lectures, Program and Speakers list below. 

The lectures are co-sponsored by Union’s Bonhoeffer Chair of Theology and Ethics and the German Bonhoeffer Chair Foundation, and always include theologians and church leaders from Germany as well as leading Bonhoeffer scholars from North America. 

Purchase tickets below. The $130.00 registration fee includes two lunches, Friday dinner, and refreshments. Registration without meals is $90.00. Registration fees are waived for students and faculty of Union Theological Seminary, but please register. Please click here to purchase tickets

Inquiries? Want a group or student discount? a one-day registration? Call Sean Pagaduan at 212 280 1453 or email Spagaduan@uts.columbia.edu

Need a place to stay while you're here? Click here to see a list of nearby hotels and guest houses. 


FRIDAY APRIL 7, 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Moderator: Clifford Green

9:00 am     Serene Jones & Jürgen von Schlabrendorff: Welcome                                     

9:15 - 10:15 am     Hartmut Lehmann: “Fatal Coincidences 1933: Nazism's Triumph and Luther's 450th Birthday”

10:15 - 11:15 am    Victoria Barnett: “Looking for Luther: 1933-1939”

11:15 - 1145 am     Refreshments

11:45 - 12:15 pm     Karen Bloomquist: “Radicalizing Reformation in Post 11/9 America”

12:30 - 1:45 pm     Lunch

2:00 - 3:00 pm     Carlos Eire: “The Protestant Reformation Legacy through Catholic Eyes” Introduction: Euan Cameron

3:00 - 3:30 pm     Refreshments   

3:30 - 4:00 pm    Brigitte Kahl: “Justification, Ethics, and the ‘other.’  Paul, Luther, and Bonhoeffer in Trialogue”

4:00 - 4:30 pm     Michael DeJonge: “Luther’s Legacy in Bonhoeffer’s Political Theology"

4:30 - 5:00 pm     Karen Bloomquist, Michael DeJonge, Brigitte Kahl, and Christiane Tietz (Moderator): Panel

5:15 - 6:00 pm     Social Hour (Cash Bar) 

6:00 - 7:15 pm     Keynote Lecture: The Honorable Kevin Rudd: “Truth and Politics”

7:15 - 8:30 pm     Dinner

8:30 - 9:40 pm     Film Screening: Come Before Winter: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his Companions in the Dying Gasp of the Third Reich, a film by Gary Blount, Producer; Kevin Ekvall, Director; and Hellmut Schlingensiepen, Writer.

SATURDAY APRIL 8, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

Moderator for Day 2: Michael DeJonge 

9:00 - 9:45 am     Keynote Lecture: Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm: “Reformation:  Freeing the Church for Authentic Public Witness.”

9:45 - 10:30 am    Wolfgang Huber: “Worldly Worship: Reformation and Economic Ethics”

10:30-11:00 am     Refreshments  

11:00-11:30 am     Josiah Young, "'On the Way to Freedom Land': Bonhoeffer and Three Bright Lights of the Civil Rights Movement"

11:30 - 12:00 pm     Allen Boesak, "Church, Racism and Resistance -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Critical Dimension of Theological Integrity"

12:00 - 12:30 pm     Josiah Young, Allan Boesak, and Gary Dorrien: Commentary, dialogue, questions 

12:30 - 2:00 pm     Lunch

2:00 - 2:40 pm     Larry Rasmussen: “Eco-Reformation. What’s Happening and Why”

2:40 - 3:20 pm     Jennifer McBride: “Reformation through Repentance: The Church’s Public Witness”

3:20 - 3:50 pm     Refreshments

3:50 - 4:30 pm     Esther Reed: ”Bonhoeffer and the Re-Forming Church in a Post(?)-Globalizing Era”

4:30 - 5:00 pm     Esther Reed, Jennifer McBride, and Larry Rasmussen: Panel 

Conclusion of Lectures 

Social Hour (Cash Bar)

Break (Dinner on your own)

7:30 - 8:45 pm     Film Screening: Come Before Winter: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his Companions in the Dying Gasp of the Third Reich, a film by Gary Blount, Producer; Kevin Ekvall, Director; and Hellmut Schlingensiepen, Writer.



Dr. Victoria Barnett, Director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust; General Editor of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English Edition.

Dr. Allan Boesak, leading South African anti-apartheid theologian; former President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; Desmond Tutu Chair, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis.

Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Church of Germany; former Bonhoeffer Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary.

Dr. Karen Bloomquist, former Director of Studies, Lutheran World Federation, and Dean, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary; Editor and contributor, Radicalizing Reformation: North American Perspectives.

Professor Michael DeJonge, University of South Florida, author of Bonhoeffer’s Theological Formation. Berlin, Barth and Protestant Theology, and of Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Luther, Oxford, 2017.

Professor Carlos Eire, Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University; author of Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 and Waiting for Snow in Havana.

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Huber, former Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Church of Germany; Chair of the German Bonhoeffer Werke Editorial Board.

Professor Brigitte Kahl, Professor of New Testament, Union Theological Seminary; author, Galatians Re-Imagined: Reading with the Eyes of the Vanquished.

Professor Hartmut Lehmann, Historian; founding Director, German Historical Institute, Washington DC; visiting professor at many US universities; author, Martin Luther in the American Imagination, 1988.

Professor Jennifer McBride, Professor of Theology and Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary; author The Church for the World. A Theology of Public Witness.

Professor Larry Rasmussen, Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Union Seminary; author of Earth Honoring Faith. Religious Ethics in a New Key.

Professor Esther Reed, theological ethics, University of Exeter, United Kingdom; author of several books on international law, work, human rights, and civil liberties and national security.

The Honorable Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, New York; former Prime Minister of Australia.

Professor Josiah Young, Professor of Systematic Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC, and author, No Difference in the Fare. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Problem of Racism.


My Union - Union Theological Seminary in New York City
© 2016 Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

3041 Broadway at 121st Street, New York, NY 10027 | Tel: (212) 662-7100


Site Map Privacy Policy Email Preferences Contact Us