In this episode, which kicks off our year of “Science in the Seminary,” Kristin Largen talks with Kristin Stuempfle about the importance of dialogue between science and religion. Kris uses the example of her father, Herman Stuempfle who was the President of Gettysburg Seminary from 1976 to 1989. In particular she references the hymn he wrote for her, “Go Forth in Search of Truth.”
In this second part of a two-part series, Thomas Rutherford, Licensed Town Guide in Gettysburg Pennsylvania, brings stories of courage and compassion about children amidst the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg, one as young as 8 or 9 years old: Tillie Pierce, Sadie Bushman, and Charlie McCurdy.
Dr. Leonard Hummel, Professor of Pastoral Theology, Gettysburg Seminary, describes a grant from the Templeton Foundation that enables the three “c’s”: competencies in science for seminarians, connections with scientists at other institutions and a core that encourages dialogue with science--for example, the connection between a professor of physics and a professor of Old Testament in a course on Genesis and the origins of the universe.
Dr. Collinge discusses the content and context of the encyclical, Laudato si, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. It is a meditation on created nature and the place of humanity in it. The pope adds something new: he joins the Catholic theology of creation (not anthropology) with the tradition of Catholic social ethics, especially his concern for the poor.
Dr. Christianson asks Dr. Daryl Black, new President and Executive Director of the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum, the question, “Why do we have museums and should they do more than just collect “keepsakes”? Dr. Black describes the change in museums over the past two decades from emphasizing a collection of items, e.g. rifles, to interpretation of these items in the wider context of the need for human beings to make meaning of the past. He illustrates this with the conflicting ways North and South used the Bible and even viewed God in the Civil War.
Dr, Christianson and Sue Hill discuss the life and writing of Elsie Singmaster. Elsie Singmaster was one of the best-known authors of her day, appearing in anthologies along with Ernest Hemingway. Her stories of Gettysburg citizens who were caught in the battle and still managed to serve the wounded and dying are worth discovering again.
Will Lane, Director of the Writing Center, Gettysburg College and former Chair, Adams-Hanover Health Care for All discusses the current status of healthcare in America with host Dr. Christianson. Mr. Lane says the health care is slowly improving under The Affordable Care Act, but the goal is still to cover everyone with affordable health care. The obstacles today are political and not value or workable solutions. Two models to meet the goal are regulated private companies and the expansion of Medicare for everyone.
Dr. Christianson and John Spangler, Executive Assistant to the President for Communication and Planning and former President of the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, explore what we can learn from a small school on a large campus on how to realize a commitment to preserving the environment by “going green:” using new technologies, such as geothermal wells, measuring the “carbon footprint,” recycling, and planting. The Historic Walking Pathway and campus renewal with new parking and tree planting are prime examples at Gettysburg Seminary.
Dr. Largen interviews Dr. Kent Gramm, Visiting Professor of English at Gettysburg College, about his new book, Psalms for Skeptics, a series of sonnets based on one phrase from each of the Psalms 101-150.
In this episode, a theologian, Dr. Largen, and a historian, Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, talk about the construction of Lutheran identity, and how it relates both to theological doctrines and also social, historical context. The issue of slavery is discussed as one example of such identity construction.