Kessler Conversations

Named after the world-renowned Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection held at Pitts Theology Library, these online, 30-45 minute conversations offer opportunities for the general public to learn about the events in Europe the 16th century and to consider what they may tell us about the issues facing our communities. Conversations in a given academic semester focus on a single contemporary theme and trace it back to the Reformers. These conversations are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Upcoming Conversations

Spring 2023: Printed Text and Hypertext: Technological and Social Change

Wednesday, April 5th | 12pm EST

Printed Imagery and Propaganda in the 16th and Early 17th Century Book 

The Rev. Dr. Pearce J. Carefoote, former Head of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto


Tuesday, May 2nd | 6pm EST

Devouring the Book in Renaissance Nuremberg 

Dr. Jenny Spinks, Hansen Associate Professor in History, University of Melbourne


Past Conversations

Missed one of our Conversations? Every Conversation is recorded here for viewing later.

Spring 2023: Printed Text and Hypertext: Technological and Social Change

Martin Luther: Media Man. The Reformation and Media Transformation
Dr. Andrew Pettegree, FBA

Fall 2022: Martin Luther’s Bible: Conversations on the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s September Testament

The Distinctiveness of the Luther New Testament of 1522
Dr. Euan Cameron
Martin Luther as a Reader of Scripture and Insights for Today
Dr. G. Sujin Pak
Let Anyone who would hear God Speak Read Holy Scripture: Luther’s Translation After 500 Years
Dr. Armin Siedlecki

Spring 2022: Women in the Reformation

Elisabeth Cruciger: Wife, Hymnwriter, Theologian
Dr. Mary Jane Haemig
Surprise and Diversity: A Woman’s Place in Reform Yesterday and Today
Dr. Elsie Anne McKee
Women Leaders of the Reformation: Profiles, Contexts, and Texts
Rev. Dr. Kirsi Stjerna

Fall 2021: Luther and “the Other”

Read the 2021 Reformation Notes

At Least Germans Are Honest? Martin Luther’s Appeals to Ethnic Identity and Implications for Social Justice
Dr. Anthony Bateza
Luther and Islam
Rev. Dr. David Grafton
Luther, Jews, and Judaism: Possibilities for Rethinking Interreligious Engagement
Dr. Dean P. Bell

Spring 2021: Blessed are the Poor: Wealth and Poverty in the 16th and 21st Centuries

Care of the Poor During the Reformation
Dr. Esther Chung-Kim
Wealth, Work, and Wisdom in Early Modern Society
Dr. David Fink
Luther’s Ethic of Neighbor-Love
Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

Fall 2020: Disease, Healing, and Pastoral Care in the 16th and 21st Centuries

Read the 2020 Reformation Notes

Click here to download the resource list for the Fall 2020 Conversations

Christian Ethics in Times of Plague
Dr. Anna Johnson
The Reformation of Suffering
Dr. Ronald Rittgers
Plague in the Reformation Era
Dr. Erik Heinrichs
Research in the Collection: A Kessler Conversation with the 2020-2021 Research Fellows