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LRU's Institute for Faith and Learning welcomes Randall Balmer
LRU's Institute for Faith and Learning welcomes Randall Balmer

Lenoir-Rhyne University's (LRU) Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL) will open its 2017-18 Speaker Series with a presentation by Dr. Randall Balmer on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in Grace Chapel. Dr. Balmer will offer a second presentation on Friday, Sept. 22 at 12:30 p.m. at LRU's Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary campus, Columbia, S.C., in Stavros Lecture Hall.

Balmer's presentation is titled, "Martin Luther: Patron Saint of Religion in America." His discussion will include a look at Protestantism in North America 500 years after the Protestant Reformation. His presentation will pay particular attention to the effects of Protestant doctrines as sola scriptura (the Bible alone), the priesthood of believers, and the rejection of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation – that the bread and wine of Holy Communion actually become the body and blood of Christ.

A prize-winning historian and Episcopal priest, Dr. Balmer is the chair of the Department of Religion and director of the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College. Before joining the faculty of Dartmouth in 2012, he taught at Columbia University for 27 years, and he has been a Visiting Professor at Princeton, Yale, Drew, Northwestern, and Emory universities and in the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and more than a dozen books, including Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carterand Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America. Now in its fifth edition, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory was made into an award-winning three-part documentary for PBS, which Dr. Balmer wrote and hosted. He has also developed a two-part series on creationism and a documentary on Billy Graham. Dr. Balmer's commentaries have appeared in newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Los Angeles Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times.

Both events are free and open to public. For more information, visit lr.edu/public-events or contact LRU Professor of Religious Studies, Jonathan Schwiebert at jonathan.schwiebert@lr.edu or by calling 828.328.7184. Visit randallbalmer.com to learn more about the presenter.

The Institute for Faith and Learning Speaker Series invites prominent religious figures and authors to share their work and beliefs with audiences at LRU and LTSS. The IFL at LRU, in conjunction with the Academy for Faith and Leadership (AFL) at LTSS, endeavors to provide programming that contributes to and enriches a culture of the intellect that is theologically based. Its programs are directed to Christians of all traditions.