Augustana alumna and church historian the Rev. Dr. Maria E. Erling '78 will visit campus April 23-24.
In addition to visiting classes and other on-campus visits, she will offer a public talk, "Augustana's Belief in the Power of Young Adults," at 4:30 p.m. April 23 at the Wilson Center on campus.
Dr. Erling is professor of modern church history and global mission at United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa. Her research interests include the history of American Lutheranism, including the Augustana Synod, immigrant histories and stories, and ecumenism.
"In my teaching, I’ve learned that students need to learn to tell their own story – their family’s many decisions and migrations – before they can really learn to hear the stories told to them by the people they meet in ministry," she said.
"Today I am still investigating how these immigrant people saw the new world they entered, especially as it presented uncomfortable and unprecedented challenges. I wonder how the diversity of race and class affected them, and whether we can, through learning that history more fully be better citizens today, owning up to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our communities. Everyone has a story.”
Dr. Erling has written many articles and chapters in several books about contemporary Lutheranism, ecumenism, and mainline Protestantism. She co-authored with Mark Granquist, "The Augustana Story, Augsburg Fortress," in 2008.
Her visit is sponsored by Scandinavian Studies at Augustana, The Augustana Presidential Center for Faith and Learning, and Augustana Campus Ministries.
Ashleigh Johnston, 309-794-7833