logo and main navigation container

LR's Institute for Faith and Learning speaker series features Robert Kolb
LR's Institute for Faith and Learning speaker series features Robert Kolb

Lenoir-Rhyne University's Institute for Faith and Learning speaker series will continue its 2018-19 speaker series with a presentation by the Reverend Dr. Robert Kolb Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Grace Chapel.

Kolb's presentation, titled "Freed to be Bound: Luther's View of True Human Freedom," will explore a key element of the great reformer Martin Luther's thought. Luther, Kolb says, interrupted medieval ways of thinking about what it means to be human, by emphasizing the Creator's design for human life and Christ's liberation of his people from evil. Kolb will show how this perspective changed the way people see God, themselves, and the world, so that individuals can bind themselves to other human beings and the rest of God's creation in the love and service for which each person was constructed.

Kolb, a world-renowned scholar of the Reformation, previously served as professor of systematic theology and director for the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He has long been a leader in Lutheran and Reformation research. His published works include "The Christian Faith: A Luther Exposition," and "The Book of Concord" as well as more than 15 additional books on Lutheran theology and culture, most recently "Between Wittenberg and Geneva: Lutheran and Reformed Theology in Conversation." He is the author of more than 180 published essays on Reformation history and evangelism.

Throughout his teaching career, Kolb has been a lecturer and professor at numerous schools in the United States, Germany, Nigeria, and Switzerland. He has been a member of many scholarly and ecclesiastical organizations including the International Congress for Luther Research and the Center for Reformation Research, as well as served as a consultant on denominational and Lutheran Synod-related issues. He served as associate editor and co-editor of "The Sixteenth Century Journal" from 1973 to 1977.

A graduate of Concordia Seminary, Kolb earned his Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology. He also earned a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Kolb is the recipient of the honorary doctorate degree from Valparaiso University, Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Concordia University in Irvine, California. In 2017, he received an honorary doctorate from the Slovak Comenius University in Bratislava, the largest university in Slovakia. With the title, Kolb joined the ranks of others who have received the same honor from the CU including former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. microbiologist Jan Vilček, and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

The 2018-19 IFL will conclude Thursday, April 11, with a presentation from the Reverend Dr. Peter Enns, Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in Pennsylvania

The event is free and open to public. For more information, visit lr.edu/publicevents or contact Jonathan Schwiebert, LR professor of religious studies, at jonathan.schwiebert@lr.edu or by calling 828.328.7184. Visit csl.edu/emeritus-faculty/kolb-robert-a/ to learn more about the presenter.

The IFL Speaker Series invites prominent religious figures and authors to share their work and beliefs with audiences at LR and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS). The IFL at LR, 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.