Pietism, Churches, and a “Usable Past”

Pietist at Heart
From The Covenant Companion, July 2010

A brief update on planning for our colloquium on Pietism at Bethel University, taking place April 20, 2012. In addition to talks by Scot McKnight and Jon Sensbach, we’ll have a roundtable discussion asking whether Pietism provides a “usable past” for churches today.

In some ways, this is a reprise of a session at our 2009 research conference on “The Pietist Impulse in Christianity” — on the historiography of four denominations founded by Scandinavian immigrants — that we weren’t able to include in our book of the same title. But while two of those denominations will be represented again, we’ll also have panelists from three others, and this discussion is intended to move a bit further out of the realm of the academic and into that of contemporary church life.

G.W. Carlson
G.W. Carlson

Here are our panelists, with their denominational traditions in parentheses:

G.W. Carlson (Baptist General Conference/Converge Worldwide)
Professor of History and Political Science, Bethel University
Co-editor, The Baptist Pietist Clarion

See my recent post on GW for a possible preview of his comments on the influence of Pietism on the BGC and its university.

Ryan Eikenbary-Barber (Evangelical Covenant Church)
Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Covenant Church, Minneapolis, MN
Blogs at Word and Story

Gracia Grindal
Gracia Grindal

Gracia Grindal (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
Professor of Rhetoric, Luther Seminary

Devin Manzullo-Thomas (Brethren in Christ Church)
Assistant editor, Brethren in Christ History and Life
Blogs at The Search for Piety and Obedience

Francis Monseth (Association of Free Lutheran Congregations)
Dean, Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary


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