Sacraments from a Lutheran perspective

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Professor Friederike Nüssel of Heidelberg University, Germany, is residing at The Lay Centre while in Rome to teach an intensive six-week course at the Pontifical Gregorian University this semester. (Photo: Emil Anton)

The Lay Centre is pleased to welcome Professor Friederike Nüssel of Heidelberg University, Germany, in Rome to teach an intensive six-week course at the Pontifical Gregorian University this semester.

Dr. Nüssel is a Lutheran professor of systematic theology, the director of the university’s ecumenical institute and a member of national and international ecumenical commissions.

A well-developed biography about her academic career on the John Templeton Foundation website says Dr. Nüssel is also co-editor of three academic journals and several series, includingTheologische Literaturzeitung LeipzigTheologische BibliothekThemen der Theologie, andDogmatik in der Moderne.

She has authored a number of scholarly papers and has chapters in volumes of collected works on Protestant dogmatics and its transformation, Christology and the doctrine of justification, confessional identities, and the ordained ministry.

She is also the co-editor of two books, Human Voices and the Lord’s Eucharist (2004) and Introduction to Ecumenism (2008), as well as co-editor of the four-volume Taschenlexikon Religion und Theologie (revised fifth edition).

Her course this semester at the Pontifical Gregorian University is titled “Sacramental Theology in Contemporary Protestant Thought.”

The course studies the Wittenberg Reformation, which began with theological disagreement in sacramental theology regarding the dispute on indulgences and led to ecclesial separations. The course considers what can be learned today from these historical discussions. Questions that will be addressed from an ecumenical perspective include: What is a sacrament? How many sacraments are there? Is the Church a sacrament? In what sense is Christ present in the Eucharist? What does the sacramental status of marriage mean? What is the relation between linguistic sign and sacramental sign? Is sacramentality the specifically Catholic position? How to resolve the impasse in the doctrine of ministry?

Heidelberg University is located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and fifth oldest in Central Europe.

Dr. Nüssel will reside at The Lay Centre during her time in Rome.

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