Community members listening to a lecture at the Rethinking Confirmation event

The Andrew S. Burgess Lectures in Global Mission

Feb. 2, 2017 - 4:00 p.m.
Olson Campus Center, Chapel of the Incarnation

Transforming Biblical Hermeneutics: The Bible as a Resource for Holistic Renewal in Africa in Light of the Reformation 500

Apart from the internal changes in religious practices, ideas and organization, the reformation unleashed transformations at individual, societal, political and economic levels. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a main resource for such transformations during the Reformation. Key to this transformational potential was a realization of how new interpretations of biblical texts revitalize a sense of the common good, resulting in growing appreciation of justice, a renewed sense of critical faith resulting in enhanced human agency, and a new orientation of space and time resulting in long-term commitments and sense of exploration. How can such transformative appropriation of the Bible produce similar results in Africa today? How, as we commemorate 500 years of the Reformation, could the special use of the Bible result in the individual, institutional and societal transformation in Africa? This lecture is shaped by Kenneth Mtata’s work with the LWF hermeneutics process.

The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Mtata

Kenneth Mtata is general secretary of the Council of Churches in Zimbabwe. Mtata studied theological education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. After ordination, he served as a pastor in Kwekwe Parish, Midlands, in Zimbabwe. He returned to KwaZulu-Natal, spending time at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Humboldt University in his Master and Doctoral studies. He specialized in biblical studies, writing his thesis on the concept of space and place in the Gospel of John. After his post-doctoral fellowship at the UKZN and the Fachhochschule für Interkulturelle Theologie Hermannsburg, Mtata held the position of study secretary for Lutheran Theology and Practice at the Lutheran World Federation. Mtata is widely published, especially from the two main LWF projects he is leading: the Lutheran Hermeneutics project and the Religion and Development project. His newly established project is on the Covenanting Nation, a Bible study process for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches designed to increase social cohesion, just relations and solidarity economic processes.  

The Andrew S. Burgess Lectures in Global Mission

Through these lectures, the task of global mission today is interpreted in the light of the Christian tradition, the historical experience of the church, and the contemporary situation in the world.

The Andrew S. Burgess Lecture in Global Mission was inaugurated in 1991 in an ongoing effort to introduce leading scholars in global mission to the Luther Seminary community. The Burgess Lecture is made possible by a fund established in honor of the life and work of Andrew S. Burgess, former missionary, missionary executive, and professor of missions at Luther Seminary.