Kessler Conversations 2020

Pitts was delighted to host Professor Anna M. Johnson in the library’s inaugural Kessler Conversation with over 70 attendees last week! In case you missed this insightful session on “Christian Ethics in Times of Plague,” you can view the recording on demand from the comfort of your own home.

Don’t forget to register for the next two installments in this fall’s Kessler Conversation series on “disease, healing, and pastoral care in the 16th century,” in addition to the live streamed Reformation Day Worship Service led by Bishop Leila M. Ortiz of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of the ELCA. View details and sign up for free at

Professor Erik HeinrichsPlague in the Reformation Era

A Kessler Conversation with Professor Erik Heinrichs, Associate Professor of History, Winona State University

Wednesday, October 7, Noon EDT | Register Now

Bishop Ortiz

Reformation Day Worship Service

Bishop Leila M. Ortiz, of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of the ELCA will preach at the Reformation Day Service.

Thursday, Octboer 29, 11am EDT | Watch Live Stream


Professor Ronald Rittgers

The Reformation of Suffering

A Kessler Conversation with Professor Ronald Rittgers, Erich Markel Chair in German Reformation Studies and Professor of History and Theology, Valparaiso University

Wednesday, November 4, Noon EDT | Register Now


Announcing Kessler Conversations 2020

We are excited to launch the Kessler Conversations at Pitts Theology Library this fall. This is a series of online interviews with leading church historians and theologians, asking this question, “What relevance do the events, personalities, and texts of the Protestant Reformation hold for contemporary communities?” On the first Wednesday of each month this Fall, these online, 30-45 minute conversations will offer opportunities for the general public to learn about the events in Europe the 16th century and to consider what they tell us about the issues facing our communities. Conversations each semester will focus on a single contemporary theme and trace it back to the Reformers. This Fall, the Kessler Conversations focus on disease, healing, and pastoral care in the 16th century.

Our September conversation will be with Professor Anna M. Johnson, Associate Professor of Reformation Church History at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Professor Johnson’s research explores religious practice in the German Reformation. She is the author of Beyond Indulgences: Luther’s Reform of Late Medieval Piety, 1518-1520 (Truman State University Press, 2017), and she recently wrote the introduction and annotations to Luther’s “Whether One Should Flee the Deadly Plague” for The Annotated Luther (Fortress Press, 2016). The Kessler Conversation with Professor Johnson, entitled “Christian Ethics in Times of Plague,” will be live-streamed at noon Eastern on Wednesday, September 2nd. Registration is free at!

Find more information on future sessions at, and feel free to share the flyer below to spread the word! We look forward seeing you there.