The Jurgies

Jürgen Moltmann, born in 1926, is a German theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He notably incorporates his “theology of hope”, his late wife’s feminist theology views, liberation theology, ecology, and mainstream trinitarian theology. Moltmann was drafted into the German military in 1944. He was then ordered to the front lines where he surrendered to the first British soldier he met. For the next three years he was moved from camp to camp as a prisoner of war. Moltmann was deeply tormented by the atrocities being inflicted by his own countrymen and often wished that he had died. He was introduced to Christianity while a POW when he was given a small copy of the New Testament and Psalms. In 1946 he came across a copy of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Nature and Destiny of Man, a book that deeply influenced him. His life experience as a POW greatly impacts his understanding of the relationship between suffering and hope which is evidenced through much of his theology.

Our group has 8 members! Let us introduce ourselves to you!

Hey, I’m Stephanie Johnson, a 2nd-year M.Div. I am excited to join The Jurgies for the second term of Theology. My group-mates are deep-thinking, deep-feeling people with whom I look forward to exploring Moltmann’s theology of hope. In the midst of a stormy season of political upheaval and mass resistance, I am looking for theologies that help my roots hold in good soil. For the past few years, Moltmann’s words have helped inform how I move as a person of faith in such a climate. He writes, “That is why faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it. Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present.”

Hello! I’m Elyse Snelson, in the MATC program. I chose the Jurgies because Moltmann wrote a book on the theology of play (which I would love to read if anyone has a copy) and I knew I needed to learn more about this man’s theology. I am hoping to learn a lot from my group members who all appear to be kind, funny and wise.

I am Elisabeth Schyberg, 2nd year MATC — Arts & Imagination emphasis. Through our discussions, I hope to gain insight into others’ readings as well as a better working understanding of Moltmann’s theology. (she probably actually chose this Moltmann group because we all begged her to be in our group so that we can glean from her knowledge and fabulous use of words!)

I’m Luke Winslow -2nd year MATC. I think Moltmann was one of the more influential European theologians to grapple with the problems World War II posed for Christianity. While he provided a lot of development in the way his story allowed him to, I’m interested to find out the limitations of his thought and what critiques and advances current theologians are doing by dialoguing with his work (Shelly Rambo, womanist, etc)!

I am Angie Van De Mark, 2nd year of the MATC program. I completely enjoyed exploring the thoughts and theology of Moltmann last semester and wanted to continue the dialogue many of us Jurgies began in Theology 1. I find Moltmann’s courage to explore the vulnerabilities of God so profound and deeply wise. His thoughts on a self-limiting/self-emptying God who is deeply affected and impacted by the very creation He has emptied and expanded Himself to make, is an image of God I find both beautiful and terribly surprising and even a bit frightening. I anticipate many fascinating conversations sparked by Moltmann’s insights and my fellow group members’ compassionate and wise imaginations. I am so grateful to learn with these lovely friends.

Hi! I’m Ruth Droullard — 2nd year MATC. Last quarter I enjoyed the conversations with the brilliant young minds in the Moltmann group. This quarter I look forward to hearing how the beautiful people in our group will engage in comparing and contrasting Rambo’s pneumatology, theology of remaining and trauma studies with Moltmann’s theology of hope. I couldn’t imagine studying with a more enticing group of people.

Andi Nelson, 2nd year MATC and Tiffany Howard, 1st year MACP are our final two group members. They aren’t here to defend themselves so we can say whatever we want to about them. Andi is bright and articulate. She has deep wisdom and rich insights. She listens carefully and somehow can knit everyone’s thoughts and ideas into a colorful tapestry of words. Tiffany is sensitive, gentle, witty and perceptive. Curious and insightful, she asks lovely questions that draw deep answers from the members of our group. We love you Andi and Tiffany!!

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