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Uwe Siemon-Netto to Direct Concordia Seminary Institute on Lay Vocation

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, announces the appointment of renowned scholar and journalist Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto to the position of scholar in residence and director of the new Concordia Seminary Institute on Lay Vocation (CSILV). Siemon-Netto will divide his time between these responsibilities and serving as director of the newly formed Concordia Center on Religion and Journalismat Concordia College, Bronxville, New York.

“As director of the Concordia Seminary Institute on Lay Vocation and on behalf of the Seminary, Dr. Siemon-Netto will offer seminars, lectures and courses, both on and off campus, on lay vocation from a Lutheran theological perspective,” commented Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary. “He will write newspaper, magazine and on-line articles, including regular contributions to theLutheran Witness.  In addition to these activities, he will be available to speak in classes and at special Seminary events. I’m confident that the students will be very eager to interact with him once they learn of his vast experiences.”

Siemon-Netto was born in 1936 in Leipzig, Germany, and has served as the religion editor of United Press International in WashingtonD.C., and as a free-lance correspondent for numerous German publications. He also is a Research Scholar at the Institute for Religionand World Affairs, Boston University, and a familiar voice on KFUO Lutheran Radio’s “Issues, Etc.” program.

An international journalist since 1956, Siemon-Netto covered the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 for the Associated Press, and subsequently the United States, France, the Vietnam War (for five years), the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Six-Day War in theMiddle East for German publications. He also held positions as executive editor of German dailies. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he returned to his native Leipzig to report about the peaceful revolution there, and helped establish a free press and train journalists in Eastern Germany.

At age 50, Siemon-Netto enrolled at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, earning the M.A. degree in theology in 1988. His master’s thesis applied Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology of the cross to the plight of Vietnam veterans whom he had worked with as achaplain intern at the VA hospital in Minnesota. This volume, titled The Acquittal of God, was published in 1990 and used by VA chaplains as a textbook on giving pastoral care to Vietnam veterans.

In 1992, he received the Ph.D. degree in theology and sociology of religion from Boston University. His dissertation, refuting the cliché that Martin Luther was Hitler’s progenitor, was published by Concordia Publishing House (CPH) under the title The Fabricated Luther.The German translation of his book was published in Germany. In 1996, he was a resident scholar at the Center of Theological Inquiryat Princeton, New Jersey, working on a theology for the media. In 2004, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, awarded Siemon-Netto an honorary doctor of letters degree.

Siemon-Netto’s most recent work, One Incarnate Truth, also published by Concordia Publishing House, is a collection of essays by several Christian authors on Christian answers to the chaos that results from life in a world heavily influenced by post-modern thought patterns.

Equally fluent in German, French and English, Siemon-Netto has attempted to put his faith into action by applying it to contemporary life in countless publications, and by training young Christians in various academic institutions to become competent secular journalists.

He and his wife, Gillian, reside on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, campus.

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7370; thomasg@csl.edu.