Richard A. Jensen

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Richard A. Jensen
Richard A. Jensen in study.jpg
Born
Richard Alvin Jensen

(1934-07-04)July 4, 1934
DiedNovember 19, 2014(2014-11-19) (aged 80)
NationalityDanish-American
Alma materPrinceton University
Scientific career
FieldsSystematic Theology
Homiletics
InstitutionsLutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Wartburg Theological Seminary
Luther Seminary
InfluencesGerhard von Rad
Søren Kierkegaard

Richard Alvin Jensen (July 4, 1934 – November 19, 2014) was an American theologian, author, and the Carlson Professor of Homiletics Emeritus at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Jensen was born on July 4, 1934, in Fremont, Nebraska, he earned his B.A. cum laude in philosophy from Dana College in 1956. Jensen attended college with future U.S. Senator from Illinois Paul Simon and was lifelong friends with Simon. Jensen later his B.D. from Wartburg Theological Seminary in 1959, his S.T.M. from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1962. Jensen began doctorate work at Princeton Theological Seminary under Gerhard von Rad, but departed before completion to take a professorship in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Jensen later completed his Ph.D. from Aquinas Institute of Theology in 1972.

Academic career[edit]

Jensen studied in Chicago and wrote his S.T.M.,The Covenant in The Deuteronomic and Priestly Traditions under Robert J. Marshall. Jensen left Chicago in 1960 to study under Gerhard von Rad and Otto Piper at Princeton Theological Seminary. Jensen left his doctorate program after a year to become a professor and co-found the Mekana Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1962.[2][3] Jensen returned to the United States in 1965 to teach at his alma mater Dana College, he returned to Wartburg Theological Seminary to teach from 1972–1981. He briefly taught at Luther Seminary before leaving academia in 1982 to host the television and radio program, Lutheran Vespers. In 1997, Jensen was invited to become the first Axel Jacob and Gerde Maria Carlson Professor of Homiletics at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a post he held until his retirement in 2002.[4] Richard A. Jensen was also the Dean of the Doctorate of Ministry program sponsored by the Association of Chicago Theological Seminaries in the late 1980s. In 1986, Jensen along with his wife Bonnie, assisted with merging the American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church in America into the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Contributions to theology[edit]

Jensen at Dana College in 2003.

In the late 1960s the charismatic movement was causing a controversies in the Lutheran church. Jensen had become a leading scholar on the application of a Lutheran theological understanding of neo-Pentecostalism.[5] Jensen wrote his first book in 1974, Touched by the Spirit, developing a Lutheran perspective on his personal experiences, and attempting to embrace the charismatic movement rather than condemn it.[6][7] Jensen's research was met some skepticism, but ultimately received positive reception from parish pastors, theologians, and college professors.[further explanation needed]

Although, Jensen's Ph.D was in systematic theology, he developed a story-based preaching technique that emphasized preaching as an oral art of communication rather than written discourse memorized or read to listeners.[8] In 1993, Jensen published Thinking in Story; this was followed by three books that understood the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as oral narratives from which the preacher used Biblical narrative to enable the listener to participate more holistically in the stories of Jesus. Jensen further expanded his understanding of preaching to incorporate the use of art and visual images in the sermon and worship experience; this thinking culminated in the book published in 2005, Envisioning the Word: The Use of Visual Images in Preaching.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Richard Jensen was married to Bonnie L. Jensen, ELCA Global Mission executive director (retired),[10][11] they had three children: Doron, Dodi, and Derek. Jensen was also a relative of Moritz Thomsen. A scholar of ancient texts, he could read and write in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. On November 19, 2014, he died at the age of 80.[12]

While in Ethiopia, Jensen and his wife served with fellow Lutheran missionaries Irvin and Jerene Mortenson family, parents of Greg Mortenson. While in Ethiopia they became friends with Luther Youngdahl and the Youngdahl family.

Richard Jensen along with his wife Bonnie, received honorary doctorates from Dana College.

Selected works[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Touched by the Spirit (1974)[13]
  • Telling the Story: Variety and Imagination in Preaching (1980)[14]
  • Crucified Ruler (1987)[15]
  • What Is God's Plan for My Life? (1988)[16]
  • Thinking in Story: Preaching in a Post-Literate Age (1993)[17]
  • Preaching Mark's Gospel (1996)[18]
  • Preaching Luke's Gospel (1997)[19]
  • Preaching Matthew's Gospel (1998)[20]
  • Envisioning the Word: The Use of Visual Images in Preaching (2005)[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Richard Jensen". workingpreacher.org. Luther Seminary. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Introducing Dr. Richard Jensen". carelife.com. Care Life LLC. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  3. ^ Larson, Duane. "Arabic Lutheran Church Focus" (PDF). wartburgseminary.edu. Wartburg Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 30, 2005. Retrieved August 24, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "Advice for Evangelicalism". thelutheran.org. The Lutheran. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Oh, Sung Choon. "A Critical Understanding of the Modern Glossolalia Phenomena of Pastoral Perspective" (PDF). Chicago Theological Seminary. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  6. ^ ftp://210.102.253.7/image01/ii100039.pdf
  7. ^ http://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/162031/2012_biniel%20mallyo.pdf?sequence=1
  8. ^ Boden, Jan. "The Rev. Dr. Richard A. Jensen Presents "Thinking in Pictures," July 5–6 During ACTS Preaching Residency at LSTC". lstc.edu. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "Preaching in Post-Literate with Dr. Richard Jensen". books.google. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  10. ^ Lee, Albert H. "Bonnie Jensen to Retire as Director of ELCA Global Mission". christianpost.com. ELCA. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  11. ^ Brooks, John. "Jensen Retires as Director of ELCA Global Mission". stlonline.org. The St. Thomas Lutheran. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Richard A. JENSEN Obituary". Pioneer Press. legacy.com. November 23, 2014.
  13. ^ Jensen, Richard (1975). Touched by the Spirit: One Man's Struggle to Understand His Experience of the Holy Spirit. Augsburg Publishing House. p. 160. ISBN 0806614846.
  14. ^ Jensen, Richard (1980). Telling the Story: Variety and Imagination in Preaching. Augsburg Publishing House. p. 189. ISBN 0806617667.
  15. ^ Jensen, Richard (1987). The crucified ruler: sermons for Lent and Easter. C.S.S. Pub. Co. p. 113. ISBN 0895368706. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  16. ^ Jensen, Richard (1988). What Is God's Plan for My Life?. Augsburg Fortress Publishing. p. 98. ISBN 0806623659. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  17. ^ Jensen, Richard (1992). Thinking in Story: Preaching in a Post-Literate Age. CSS Publishing. p. 145. ISBN 1556735731. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  18. ^ Jensen, Richard (1996). Preaching Mark's Gospel: A Narrative Approach. CSS Publishing. p. 200. ISBN 0788008331. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  19. ^ Jensen, Richard (1997). Preaching Luke's Gospel: A Narrative Approach. CSS Pub. p. 233. ISBN 0788011103.
  20. ^ Jensen, Richard (1998). Preaching Matthew's Gospel: A Narrative Approach. CSS Publishing. p. 234. ISBN 0788012215.
  21. ^ Jensen, Richard (2005). Envisioning the Word: The Use of Visual Images in Preaching. Fortress Press. p. 155. ISBN 1451416733. Retrieved December 14, 2014.