Reformer brings nations together

Scholars, theologians, bishops, church leaders, clergy and lay people from 14 countries gathered in Melbourne recently, united by an interest in Martin Luther.

Hosted by the Australian Lutheran Institute for Theology and Ethics, under the umbrella of Australia Lutheran College, the Martin Luther@500 conference attracted 180 people to the Catholic Leadership Centre across 5 days from 28 June. It is one of several such events scheduled internationally in the lead-up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 and is the main theological conference of its nature in the Southern Hemisphere.

Exploring the way Luther’s theology is received today and its significance for Christianity in the future, the conference included worship, lectures, small-group discussion and debate, and music.

Participants came from Russia, Sweden, Finland, India, Fiji, Germany, the US, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, PNG, Australia and New Zealand. LCA International Mission sponsored guests from partner churches in the Asia-Pacific region to attend the conference. There were also representatives of denominations including Catholic, Anglican, Uniting, Presbyterian, Baptist, Churches of Christ, and Australian Christian Churches.

Approximately 200 people attended the public lecture by German theologian Oswald Bayer, while keynote speakers included Catholic scholar Dr Franz Posset.

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