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Theological Symposium


September 21, 2021
September 22, 2021
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Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
801 Seminary Place
St. Louis, MO 63105 United States
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Whatever is Lovely: The Role of Beauty in Theology and Ministry

The church has had a long and restless relationship with beauty and the arts. Sometimes the celebration of beauty has been eagerly embraced, and relics of this history surround us — soaring church arches, shining windows, carved figures, fugues, poetry of praise and piety. But beauty also has been deemed excessive, unnecessary and even idolatrous. How can we receive and encourage the place of beauty and the arts so that our preaching and piety more fully reflect the love and creativity of God?

The 2021 Theological Symposium will explore the possibilities of beauty for the life of the church and its witness in a world that still groans for redemption. Plenaries and sectionals will offer various ways that the arts can enrich ministry, inspire hope and surprise with joy.

Highlights include:

  • Plenaries presented by:
    • Dr. David Schmitt  The Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Professor of Homiletics and Literature, Professor of Practical Theology and Chairman of the Department of Practical Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
    • Dr. James K.A. Smith  Award-winning author, editor of Image journal and Professor of Philosophy and the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview at Calvin University
    • Dr. Mark Mattes  Professor of Theology and Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Grand View University
    • Dr. Dean Nadasdy  President Emeritus of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Minnesota South District
  • Seminary Art Exhibit and Reception
  • Virtual Stained Glass Windows Tour
  • Sixth Annual Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Lecture in New Testament Theology
    • Presented by Dr. James W. Voelz, the Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Professor of New Testament Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

  • Golf outing sponsored by LCMS Foundation

If you have any questions, please contact Continuing Education at 314-505-7286 or ce@csl.edu

Be sure and share photos and other symposium details with your friends and family on social media using the hashtags, #CSLBeauty and #CSLSymposium.
Reminder: Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even those who are vaccinated, should avoid coming to campus, and are encouraged to get tested as soon as possible. People who are vaccinated are not required to wear facial coverings while on campus. Please see our coronavirus page for additional information and updates.