Aug 04, 2015 Print This Article

Faith meets science at 2015 Theological Symposium

Exploring what memory formation, retention can mean for church, ministry

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis will host its 26th annual Theological Symposium Sept. 22-23 on the Seminary’s campus. This year’s event, “In remembrance of me: memory and the life of faith,” will discuss biological, personal, and social dimensions of memory, and what it means for congregational life and ministry.

This symposium brings together scientists, researchers, and theologians to explore what is being learned about memory and its role in the life of faith, how it fosters community, and what it means for ministry, preaching, and pastoral care.

“Why are memories important? Without memories we don’t have a story to tell and we don’t know who we are,” said Dr. Charles Arand, professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary. “This symposium will explore some of the cutting edge work in the science of memory formation and retention, and how that research and knowledge can help us in our teaching, preaching, and pastoral care. We will look at the role of memory in worship, preaching, catechesis, and pastoral care to the grieving and to those afflicted with Alzheimer’s.”

The plenaries on Day One will address recent scientific findings regarding the brain and memory, as well as the role of narrative in personal and collective memory.

  • Dr. Steve Joordens, cognitive psychologist and faculty member at the University of Toronto Scarborough, in Ontario, Canada, will show how brain development affects memory and identity, and how memories define people’s lives.
  • Dr. Charlotte Linde will discuss her research on narrative in the development of individual and group identity. Linde is an expert on the connection between narrative and memory, and has written two books about her findings.
  • Concordia Seminary faculty members will provide reflections following each plenary.

Day Two will focus on the theological and practical implications of memory, identity, and community as they relate to the church. Concordia Seminary professors will lead sectionals that cover the biblical dimensions of memory and the application to pastoral and congregational ministry.

Early registration for the Symposium is $100 per person through Friday, Sept. 4, after which time the fee rises to $125. Registration options include full, single-day, or single-session registration, and livestream access. A buffet dinner Tuesday evening is included in the cost of full registration. Additional meals and on-campus lodging may be available for additional charge. Visit the registration page for more details.

For more information or to register, contact the continuing education office at 314-505-7286 or at [email protected], or go to

About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars, and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Since its founding in 1839, Concordia Seminary has equipped more than 12,000 graduates to serve Church and world. Today, a world-renowned faculty teaches more than 600 students in the classroom, off-campus, and online. Learn more at