it’s 9:12PM and I thought I’d update as much as I can tonight. The weather is cold and wet outside. And I’m waiting for my clothes in the washing machine 🙂
I’m way behind schedule as far as posting all I’ve done so far, and the places I’ve been. I’ll quickly re-start from November 6 when we visited The Augustana-Hochschule. I’ve been there before during the Summer School 2004, but thanks to Mary from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG), I get to join a more personal guided tour and a chance to meet some of the faculty.
I was surprised to have chance to actually speak some Mandarin and Cantonese when I met a doctoral student for New Testament studies from Hong Kong. It’s interesting to know he was from a Pentecostal background and he yet he says he liked Lutheran theology and has joined one of the Lutheran Churches in Hong Kong. Later we had tea with Prof. Dr. theol. Dieter Becker and I was surprised to have some chance to speak in Malay (or Indonesian since he was teaching for some time in Indonesia).
It was a good conversation, and I found the article he wrote and passed on to us helpful for me to have a better grasp of protestantism in Germany. We also had an interesting little discussion on Homosexuality in Germany and its affect on the German church and ministry. We talked about church life and theology post world war II and how that affects the way German Christians live and think.
It was good to know that they are happy to take in students from other countries but one needs to at least know German to join any of the programs there. I was happy to have a chance to get a feel of what a “seminary” (or in this case a unique divinity school) is like here. And the conversations with Prof. Becker and earlier a guided tour by Pfarrer Dr. theol. Moritz Fischer gave me a glimpse of seminary life here.
later in the evening, my education was further enhance by talking with Mary from a research institute in PNG. And our topic drifted into her research on witchcraft and sorcery which was fascinating. Mainly because of not just her research but also the stories (which includes murders) which surrounds the worldview of those engaged in such beliefs (even for Christians!). This raises many questions of culture, values, belief systems, conversion, contextualization, spirituality, etc. My mind was blown away … This trip has been enriched by not just contacts with German Christianity but also other surprises like conversations with Mary from PNG.