The Carl E. Braaten-Robert D. Benne Lectures in Theology have been an integral part of Lutheran Week since 2009. The event originated as the Lutheran CORE Theological Conference, and came under additional sponsorship from the North American Lutheran Church in 2010. In 2015, it was renamed in honor of Carl E. Braaten and Robert Benne, prominent Lutheran theologians who organized and conducted the theological lectures for their first five years (2010-2014).
The Lectures reflect a commitment on the part of the North American Lutheran Church, the organizers of Lutheran Week, and the series steering committee to the significance of theology for the future of North American Lutheranism. Each year the series brings together leading theologians, biblical scholars and ethicists from across confessional and ecumenical boundaries to address key issues of Christian faith and practice. While the papers are scholarly in nature, presenters are asked to keep the local Church in mind. Each paper is followed by a question and answer session, with audience members determining the course of the discussion. One of the highlights of the annual event is the roundtable panel session at the close of the lectures. This yearly event gathers an audience composed of laypersons, students, pastors, professional scholars and denominational leaders.
The conference theme for 2023 is God the Father Creates in His Image (Genesis 1:27). This is the second half of a study on God the Father begun in 2021, and the final installment of a six-year focus on the Holy Trinity. Theological anthropology will be at the forefront: to be created in the image of God – what does this mean for us? According to the apostolic faith, what is the nature of humanity, and what kinds of moral challenges does the church face in this respect when it comes to being in, but not of, the world?
Speakers will include:
- Dr. David Luy (Assoc. Prof. of Systematic Theology, North American Lutheran Seminary)
- Dr. Bob Benne (Jordan-Trexler Prof. of Religion Emeritus and Research Associate in Religion and Philosophy, Roanoke College)
- Dr. Gilbert Meilaender (Sr. Research Prof. of Theology, Valparaiso University)
- Dr. Mickey Mattox (Flack Family Foundation Chair and Prof. of Theology, Hillsdale College)
- Dr. Paul Blowers (Dean E. Walker Prof. of Church History, Emmanuel Christian Seminary)