Marcia Bunge

Faculty

Professor and Bernhardson Distinguished Chair of Lutheran Studies in Religion

A graduate of St. Olaf College (majoring in English and Music), Dr. Bunge earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, specializing in hermeneutics and historical and systematic theology. She has taught at Luther Seminary (1985-1990), Luther College (1990-1995), Gustavus Adolphus College (1995-1997), and most recently Christ College at Valparaiso University (1997-2012).

Over the past 11 years, Dr. Bunge has spoken and published widely on various religious perspectives on children and obligations to them, editing or co-editing and contributing to four foundational volumes on the subject: 

She also translated and edited a collection of essays by the 19th-century Lutheran theologian and educator J.G. Herder titled Against Pure Reason: Writings on History, Language, and Religion (Fortress Press, 1993; Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2004). See Vita below and Amazon.com for additional publications.

Her work on religious understandings of children and childhood has been supported by various grants totaling nearly $700,000. As a professor and mother of two children, she is both personally and professionally committed to promoting children’s well-being through her scholarship, teaching, and advocacy. She has spoken about her work in several countries around the world.

Dr. Bunge has served on a number of national and international committees and boards, including the board of the International Herder Society; the Task Force on Education for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and the steering committees of the Childhood Studies program units of both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.  She is currently a "core collaborator" for an international project on "European Childhoods," directed by Professor Reidar Aasgaard and hosted by the University of Oslo, Norway. 

In addition to being a scholar and a teacher, Dr. Bunge is a deeply committed Lutheran theologian who is highly informed and enthusiastic about the aims of church-related higher education. In the 1990s she was a founding member of the Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College, an ecumenical and national initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment. At Valparaiso she directed the planning grant for the university’s two million dollar “Theological Exploration of Vocation” project, served on the ELCA’s National Task Force on Education, and organized a national meeting on “Vocation and Lutheran Higher Education.” She continues to speak and write about Lutheran understandings of education and vocation.

The Bernhardson Chair was established in 1999 by the Rev. Drell Bernhardson and his wife, Adeline, friends of the College who sent all four of their children to Gustavus, to provide resources to reaffirm the College’s Lutheran tradition.

Education

B.A., St. Olaf College, 1976; M.A., Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 1979, 1986

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Christianity (including the History of Christianity; World Christianity; Systematic, Contextual, and Historical Theology)
  • Religious Understandings of Children and Childhood
  • Inter-religious Dialogue and Cooperation
  • Vocation and Church-Related Higher Education
  • Luther and Lutheranism
  • Contemporary Theology and Ethics (Feminist Theologies; Environmental Ethics; Hermeneutics)


Courses Taught

Current

REL-344 (ST:Interfaith Dialogue)

Past
Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
REL-272Luther and His Legacy12013/FA