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The final guest lecturer of Summer Course 2023 was Prof. Robert Kolb (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis). In the Reformation Research Library, he introduced the group to the Lutheran theologian Joachim Mörlin and presented some 16th-century prints of Mörlin’s books. Mörlin is important as a link between the first generation of Wittenberg reformers and the later Lutheran church. His life and work exemplify the process of ‘confessionalization’ that transformed the Reformation theology and evangelical movement into distinct confessional churches. The Lutheran church as represented in Mörlin’s works has its own profile in theology, organization, and worship that differs from other varieties of Lutheranism and especially from the Upper German Reformation, the Zwinglian church in Switzerland, and the Calvinist churches in Western Europe.

Student Fellow Makito Masaki (Kobe Lutheran Theological Seminary) introduced the group to the Japanese theologian Kazoh Kitamori (1916-98) and his influential “Theology of the Pain of God” (1946).

Prof. Kolb presenting 16th century prints
from the Reformation Research Library