Dr. Larry L. Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, will present the William Lazareth Lecture in Theology and Ethics at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP).
A renowned theologian and advocate for the poor and for environmental issues, Rasmussen’s lecture is entitled “In the Midst of New Dimensions: From Social Justice to Creation Justice.” The Lazareth Lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be in Benbow Hall in the Brossman Center on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Ave., in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Parking is available on the seminary campus.
The annual William Lazareth Lecture is presented in honor of the late Rev. Dr. William Lazareth, Hagan Professor of Systematic Theology and dean of the faculty at LTSP for more than 20 years. Lazareth served the church and society in a number of roles, including leadership roles nationally and internationally. He was an advocate for greater understanding through theological dialogue across the world’s denominations, as well as an advocate for the poor.
One of the world’s foremost Christian environmental ethicists, Rasmussen has mentored a generation of Christians in eco-theology and “green religion.” He spearheaded the “greening”at the Union Theological Seminary as an institution and rooted his courses and scholarship in the practice of environmental justice with communities and community leaders.
He has published more than a dozen books, including the landmark, award-winning “Earth Community, Earth Ethics.” His most recent book, “Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key” (Oxford University Press), won two 2014 Nautilus Book Awards: the Gold Prize for best book on ecology/environment and the Grand Prize for best book overall. He is currently directing a 10-year project on Earth-honoring Christianity at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M.
A Minnesota native, Rasmussen studied history and philosophy at St. Olaf College and received a bachelor of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary and his Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary. Following service as an assistant professor of religion at St. Olaf and a professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
He was appointed the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in 1986, retiring in 2004. He served as co-moderator of the Justice, Peace, Creation unit of the World Council of Churches from 1990 to 2000 and was St. John Visiting Professor at LTSP in spring 2006.