Joel R. Kurz received his B.A. in English from The College of the Ozarks and his M.Div from Concordia Theological Seminary. He has had essays and poetry published in several journals, in addition to collaborating with Dr. C. George Fry on two previous biographies by The Edwin Mellen Press.
2005 0-7734-6156-6 Matthias Loy (1828-1915), a major educator, editor, author, church president, preacher, and Lutheran theologian, illustrates the dilemma of the second generation immigration in America. Born the fourth of seven children of impoverished German immigrants in Pennsylvania, Loy grew up torn between the European Legacy and the American Reality. His life as a major Lutheran leader in the Gilded Age indicates that struggle, seeking bilingualism (he wrote and preached in both German and English), personal and denominational success in the American Republic, combined with a determined Repristination of what he felt were the best elements of seventeenth century German Lutheran theology. The resulting synthesis made Loy not only one of the five most influential Lutheran leaders of his century, but a very rewarding study in the process of Americanization – not in the first generation (which often experiences ghettoization) nor the third (which is often “Americanized”), but the crucial – and neglected second generation – where the terms of engagement between the Old World Tradition and New World Innovation have to be negotiated.
2004 0-7734-6550-2 Berthold von Schenk defies easy analysis. Scion of an ancient German aristocratic family, he served as an inner-city minister, was a pioneer twentieth-century ecumenist, a dedicated parish pastor, and an internationally renowned author and scholar. Trained in St. Louis by the noted Missouri Synod dogmatist Franz Pieper, he was later summoned by Pope John XXIII to participate in the first of Protestant-Roman Catholic consultations prior to Vatican II. This study begins with a biography and overview of his times, and then concentrates on his philosophy and theology, groundbreaking for its time.
2003 0-7734-6867-6 This is a study of pulpit work of the ‘Father of the American Social Gospel’ during his most influential years, his Columbus pastorate. It is based on primary sources – Gladden manuscripts and correspondence. It places the preacher in the context of Congregationalism, his times, and his immediate situation.