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Einweihung Luther Statur

von Christian Priesmeier (Kommentare: 0)

am 31.Oktober 2014 in Columbia, SC

Einweihung Martin Luther Statur

Auf dem Campus der LTSS, dem Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary wird am Reformationstag 2014 eine Statur von Dr. Martin Luther eingeweiht. Als Vertreter der Lutheriden wird Christian Priesmeier an diesem Event teilnehmen, die Festpredigt halten und somit die Familie in den Vereinigten Staaten vertreten.


Ein ausführlicher Bericht wird voraussichtlich im Familienblatt 12/2014 bzw. 01/2015 veröffentlicht.


Hier die Vorankündigung im englischen Original:


Friday, October 31, 2014

On Reformation Day - Oct. 31, 2014 - Southern Seminary will install on campus a magnificent gift to the school. Through the generosity of Mr. Irwin Belk, we are receiving a full-size bronze statue of Martin Luther.

We are planning a wonderful celebration around the unveiling. There will be a few short speeches, including one by the sculptor, Christopher Slatoff. A direct descendant of Luther, Christian Priesmeier, is traveling from Germany for the occasion and will preach during a dedicatory worship service. Luncheon guests will be able to view a selection of Reformation-era documents that are part of the Kessler Reformation Collection housed at the Candler School of Theology library in Atlanta. Finally, because our statue depicts Luther playing a lute, Christopher Berg (renowned classical guitarist and member of the music faculty at the University of South Carolina) will demonstrate for us how lutes are played! As you may know, Martin Luther played the lute and used it to accompany his own singing. He was said to have a lovely tenor voice and was known as the "Wittenberg Nightingale."


The statue unveiling and surrounding events are open to the public, and we invite you to join us. Festivities begin Sunday, Oct. 26, and come to a close Friday, Oct. 31:


Sunday 6 p.m., Christ Chapel, Reformation Hymn Festival, "Compassion & Grace"

Thursday 12 p.m., Refectory, Lecture with sculptor Christopher Slatoff

Friday 10:30 a.m., in front of Voigt Hall, Martin Luther statue unveiling

     11:15 a.m., Christ Chapel, Worship, Christian Priesmeier preaching

      12:15 p.m., Reinartz, Luncheon and Kessler Collection presentation

     1:45 p.m., Christ Chapel, Lute & guitar recital/lecture by Christopher Berg


(Please go to the Reformation Week Celebration event on the seminary’s website for full details on each event.  Some of the scheduled festivities require registration.)


There is a strong historical connection between art and theology. People of faith, even as far back as our Old Testament ancestors, have known that art allows us to express things of faith that can hardly be expressed in other ways. The psalms are poems and hymns that express human emotion better than prose can. The scriptures in both testaments are filled with narratives that tell of God's ongoing relationship to people. From the early church onward, our worship is filled with music, poetry, dance, and visual art. And, our worship spaces are adorned with statuary, beautiful windows, and visual arts of sweeping scope and beauty. A common term from art history is "art for art's sake." Late 19th-century avant garde artists grew weary of the demand for art to tell culture's stories or serve the purposes of propaganda, and they longed to create art for no other purpose than its own sake: to make something beautiful, true, worthy. But, when we think of the art of worship or other kinds of Christian art, we might think of it as "art for faith's sake." Artists who create such works do so for the purpose of telling Bible stories, expressing theological ideas, commenting on God's relationship to people, giving worshipers a song to sing or a prayer to recite. They gladly offer their talents to God's people in order to edify and enlighten the church. We can be grateful to them for enriching our understanding of God and giving us means with which to express our faith. Thank God for the artists!


This particular statue to be installed on our campus is one artist's rendering of one of our key heroes of faith. He has chosen to present Luther in a way almost never seen in other artwork - he has Luther singing while playing the lute with a beer stein at his feet. It is a joyful presentation, even a bit whimsical. While having the statue on campus will not affect our curriculum or our teaching, it will be a central presence on campus, reminding us of Luther's central place in our history and theology. It will foster conversation, contemplation, and wonder. It may inspire smiles or admiration. It may encourage the creation of music or become the source of sermon illustrations.


Chris Slatoff likes to say that his statues are "preaching in bronze." I hope you will join me in gratitude for the work he is presenting to us as well as to Mr. Belk for his amazing generosity. This is one of dozens of statues that Mr. Belk has commissioned for school campuses across the Southeast. Thank you, Mr. Belk. Thank you, Mr. Slatoff. Thank you, Martin, for your music and for giving us a profound theology that embraces the arts. And, thank God for the gifts of creativity that so deeply enrich our experience of the faith.


Before I close, I want to mention another form of art that has recently been made available. Through the art of film production, the seminary has created a set of eight “What Does This Mean?” teaching videos that feature our professors speaking to some of the burning questions relating to faith today. All eight videos with accompanying study guides are now available on our website. Watch for a national advertising campaign in The Lutheran and other magazines introducing this resource to the broader church. We hope you as individuals and as congregations can make use of these videos in your ministries. Because they have been made with an ecumenical audience in mind, we invite you to share them with others, even across denominations. We look forward to receiving your feedback as we think about other video resources we can develop to broaden the reach of the seminary’s teaching. Our mission remains to teach, form, and nurture leaders for the church. We hope that these videos will help to do that where you worship and serve.


Clay Schmit

Provost, Southern Seminary


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