“Women in Times of War” will be the theme of a forum to be held on Thursday, March 27, at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. This conference will be the first in a two-part series titled “Male and Female He Created Them (Genesis 1:27).” Next year, part 2 of this series will concentrate on the male gender.
“In both events, theologians and other scholars have been invited to explore the secular—not the ecclesiastical—roles of men and women in God’s order of creation,” said Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, director of Concordia Seminary’s Center for Lutheran Theology and Public Life (CLTPL), who hosts these conferences.
According to Siemon-Netto, two different aspects concerning women at wartime are on the agenda. The first will be, historically, their nurturing role. Women are normally at the receiving end of armed conflict. They are the ones who must hold families together when their husbands are sent to fight; they often also constitute the majority of civilian victims of war. Moreover, in the absence of men, women are often the ones who have to start rebuilding their devastated homelands.
The March 27 conference will begin at 3 p.m. in Werner Auditorium with an exegesis of Genesis 1:27 by Dr. Andrew Bartelt, vice president for academic affairs and professor of exegetical theology, Concordia Seminary. This will provide the biblical framework for this forum.
Dr. John Gresham, associate professor of systematic theology at Kenrick Glennon Seminary, St. Louis, will address this subject from a Roman Catholic perspective in a presentation titled “Reading Genesis 1:27 in Light of Pope John Paul II’s The Theology of the Body.”
Following dinner in Concordia Seminary’s Koburg Hall, historical experiences of women during World War II will be discussed. Dr. Karla Poewe, professor emeritus of anthropology, University of Calgary, Canada, will explain “How Women Bore the Brunt ofGermany’s Defeat.”
Dr. Poewe will be seconded by Günter Nitsch, author of Weeds Like Us, a new autobiographical book about the expulsion of Germans from territories that are now part of Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Dr. David Wollenburg, associate professor of practical theology, will offer a presentation in Werner Auditorium on “Women in Combat—Not a Faith Issue.” Rev. Heath Curtis, pastor of Trinity and Zion Lutheran Churches, Worden and Carpenter, Ill., is scheduled to discuss “Women in Combat Versus Natural Law.”
A panel discussion including presenters and women veterans will follow. Finally, Dr. Timothy Saleska, associate professor of exegetical theology, Concordia Seminary, will offer a wrap-up on the day’s lectures and deliberations moderated by CLTPL director Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, scholar-in-residence at Concordia seminary.
Registration by March 19 is required. Admission to the sessions is free; a buffet dinner is available for $25.
For more information or to register, contact the Office of Continuing Education and Parish Services, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7486; email@example.com; or visit the Concordia Seminary Web site at www.csl.edu.