Three Questions with Mary Jane Haemig…
Registration is open for the 27th Annual Theological Symposium, “From Font to Grave: Catechesis for the Lifelong Disciple” (September 20-21, 2016). We have invited a few of this year’s presenters to answer a few questions as they prepare for the Symposium. Mary Jane Haemig is professor of church history and director of the Reformation Research Program at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. She will be presenting on the recovery of Luther’s Catechisms for ministry and formation today.
What sparked your interest to make the Small Catechism the subject of your dissertation?
Ever since first reading the Small Catechism in high school, I have been fascinated by its brief yet incredibly profound explanations. I was curious to see how it functioned in the sixteenth century and decided to write my dissertation on catechetical preaching.
What do you find personally most meaningful or significant about Luther’s Catechisms?
They provide endless material for questioning, exploring, and discussing the Christian faith. They summarize Luther’s insights in a memorable and cogent manner.
What do you think is the greatest challenge that we face today in teaching the catechism?
The greatest challenge today is a general tendency to dislike and dismiss anything that smacks of theology or a statement of faith in America.