Michael Aune

  • Professor of Liturgical and Historical Studies
  • GTU Core Doctoral Faculty—Liturgical Studies
  • (510) 559-2760

In our musings about theological education these days, we sometimes forget the first half of the great commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Preparation for leadership in the church involves, as we say in our mission statement, “challenging the mind” because faith is not unquestioning faith that believes without understanding. Rather, we seek to understand because theology is, as one writer has said recently, “one form of the courage to be: no question should be silenced with the excuse of ‘mystery.’” The following from Jürgen Moltmann’s The Coming of God is thus worth taking to heart:

Since the moment I began to study theology, everything theological has been for me marvelously new. I have first to discover everything for myself, and understand it, and make it my own. Right down to the present day, theology has continued to be for me a tremendous adventure, a journey of discovery into a, for me, unknown country, a voyage without the certainty of a return, a path into the unknown with many surprises and not without disappointments. If I have a theological virtue at all, then it is one that has never hitherto been recognized as such: curiosity. [pp. xiii-xiv]


BA, St. Olaf College; MDiv, Luther Theological Seminary; MA and PhD, University of Notre Dame

Brief Professional History

Pastorates in North Dakota; Interim pastorates in Indiana and California; PLTS, 1978–; Secretary to the Faculty, 1981–1998; Academic Dean, 1998–2002; Dean of the Faculty, 2005–2011

Select Special Service

Member, GTU Core Doctoral Faculty; GTU Dean’s Society of Doctoral Fellows (1989–1990); Chair, ELCA Seminary Deans, 1998–2000; GTU Council of Deans, 1998–2003, 2005–2011; Member, Hein-Fry Lectures Governing Committee (1998–2000)

Select Publications

  • “Liturgy and Theology: Rethinking the Relationship, Part I—Setting the Stage,” Worship 81/1 (January 2007): 46–68.
  • “Liturgy and Theology: Rethinking the Relationship, Part II—A Different Starting Place,” Worship 81/2 (March 2007): 141–169.
  • “Discarding the Barthian Spectacles. Conclusion, Might We Be ‘Liberals’ After All?” forthcoming in Dialog, 2007.
  • “Discarding the Barthian Spectacles. Part III, Rewriting the History of Protestant Theology in the 1920s,” Dialog 45/4(Winter 2006): 389–405.
  • “Discarding the Barthian spectacles. Part II, Rereading Theological Directions, 1900–1914,” Dialog, 44/1 (Spring 2005): 56–68.
  • “Discarding the Barthian spectacles. Part I, Recent Scholarship on the History of Early 20th Century German Protestant Theology,” Dialog, 43/3 (2004): 223–232.
  • To Move the Heart: Rhetoric and Ritual in the Theology of Philip Melanchthon, 1995
  • Co-editor: Religious and Social Ritual, 1996