"The Age of the Individual" Speaker: Christine Helmer

Christine Helmer (Ph.D. Yale) is Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University. She also has a courtesy appointment in the Department of German. She is also the current holder of the Arthur E. Andersen Teaching and Research Professorship. Professor Helmer’s area of research and teaching specialization is Christian theology from historical, systematic, and constructive perspectives. Her work is focused on German intellectual history with primary interest in the theology of Martin Luther, the philosophy and theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher, and the flourishing of scholarship on Luther and on religion in early twentieth-century Germany, known as the Lutherrenaissance. She is also interested in ways in which theologians can make knowledge claims about God, theology’s conversation with the modern study of religion, and how the theological perspective can contribute to the humanities and social sciences.

Dr. Helmer is the author of many articles as well as contributing editor (and co-editor) of numerous volumes in biblical theology, philosophy of religion, Schleiermacher studies, and Luther studies, including most recently The Global Luther (Fortress Press 2009), Transformations in Luther’s Theology (EVA-Leipzig 2011), and Lutherrenaissance: Past and Present (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2015). She is the main editor for the Christianity section of the Encyclopedia of Bible and its Reception (de Gruyter). Her monograph, The Trinity and Martin Luther (Zabern 1999), shows how the Trinity is an important doctrine for Luther. Her new book, Theology and the End of Doctrine (Westminster John Knox Press 2014), consists of an historical analysis of theology’s preoccupation with doctrine over the last century and a constructive proposal for renewing doctrinal production as a creative enterprise.

Her research has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Humboldt Foundation. During 2012-2013 she was the Marie Curie EURIAS (European Institutes of Advanced Study) Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies in Helsinki, Finland. During 2014-2105, she was a Research Fellow in the Philosophy and Theology of Humility Project, based at Saint Louis University.

Professor Helmer is Associate Master of Willard Residential College. She teaches undergraduate courses on key religious thinkers in western thought, the theology of love, religion and sports, and introduction to theology. Her graduate courses focus on the history of theology in relation to the study of religion. She welcomes applications to the Ph.D. program in Religious Studies, in the areas of her teaching and research.