"Our theology and church cannot aspire to be relevant to our times if we don’t have a deep grasp of the 'swing’ of our particular theological tradition.”
Guillermo Hansen traces his inspiration to teach back to his confirmation classes. "As we studied Luther's catechisms, I clearly saw for the first time the intrinsic connection between pastoral ministry, theological reflection and teaching," he said. "So my desire to teach was born with a pastoral call in mind, which later became enriched by new understandings of theological teaching and its connection with the affirmation of God given life, human rights and the cultivation of a creative imagination."
What excites Hansen most about teaching at Luther is what he describes as "the right balance between its commitment to educate church leaders to serve God in the church and the world, and the academic excellence that its faculty and curricula bring forth."
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hansen is eager about working with Luther colleagues, students and also the seminary's international community. He also will serve on the board of Luther's Global Mission Institute, which works to foster understanding and the experience of Christian life and to witness throughout the world for Luther Seminary students, faculty and in area congregations. "The institute is an ideal platform to foster a global scope to our teaching, our faith and our friendships," said Hansen. "In this line it is also important for us to see ourselves as part of a wider communion, which implies reflecting theologically with a global perspective, surveying the possible contribution of a church and theology that face global issues from its local contexts."
Hansen believes that in studying systematic theology, students can gain an understanding of "the rules that guide the grammar of (the Lutheran) faith – and the particular 'spin' of the Lutheran point of view. Our theology and church cannot aspire to be relevant to our times if we don't have a deep grasp of the 'swing' of our particular theological tradition," he said. Consequently I would like students to see how our theological formulations and methods are covertly or overtly intertwined with the deepest and more pressing issues of life: from the transformation of our "selves" to social and economic justice, from ecological existence to gender identities, from the shaky frontiers between health and sickness to the anxieties prompted by the vastness and depth of our Universe. These are not just fads, but the places from where we need to read the presence and will of God, not only in its revelatory mode, but also in her hidden presence throughout creation....
At the same time, Hansen finds that studying theology immerses one in a path of constant rebirth and spiritual transformation. "Thus, I would like students to explore the different meanings that life can acquire when based on the unconditional trust in God's love and grace, and the double dynamic of deconstructing and reconstructing that is always part of our journey of faith."