The 10th Annual Lutheran Studies Conference


Reverend Lenny Duncan


Following the killing of George Floyd, people all over the U.S. are confronting the legacy of white supremacy and racism that has shaped our nation, culture and churches. In addition, we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic.

This year’s Lutheran Studies Conference focuses on systemic racism and will involve opportunities for reading, reflection and commitment to action for individuals and their faith and/or educational communities. We will be guided in this work and reflection by Rev. Lenny Duncan, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Church of America (ELCA), and his 2019 book addressed to the ELCA: Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US. During the Webinar, we will be joined by our guest speaker, Rev. Duncan and have the opportunity for a time of question and answer.

Rev. Duncan’s approach to his own church is one of sincere, deep love and direct truth-telling concerning racism in the church that calls itself the “body of Christ” in the world.

This is a unique opportunity to “gather” and discuss our calling to address systemic racism in our own lives, our educational systems and churches. This is central to the mission of PLU “to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care – for other people, for their communities, and for the earth.”


Recommended Reading:

Other Recommended Readings:


Autobiography & Novels:

  • Ta Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, 2015)

  • Angie Thomas, The Hate You Give (Balzer + Bray, 2017)


Care & Counseling:

  • Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies (Central Recovery Press, 2017)

  • Beverly Wallace & Paul Rosenblatt, African American Grief (Routledge, 2005)



  • Gary Dorrien, Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel (Yale University Press, 2019)

  • Gary Dorrien, The New Abolition: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel (Yale University Press, 2015)

  • George M. Fredrickson, Racism: A Short History (Princeton University Press, 2015)

  • Reggie Williams, Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance (Baylor University Press, 2014)



  • Kelly Brown Douglas, Black Bodies and the Justice of God (Orbis, 2015)

  • Kelly Brown Douglas, Black Bodies and the Justice of God: A Blues Slant (Palgrave/Macmillion, 2014)

  • Kelly Brown Douglas, The Black Christ (Orbis, 1993)

  • Kelly Brown Douglas, What’s Faith God to Do With It? Black Bodies / Christian Souls (Orbis 2005)

  • Kelly Brown Douglas, Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective (Orbis, 1999)

  • Lenny Duncan, Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US (Fortress, 2019)

  • Beverly Wallace, Transformative Lutheran Theologies: Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista Perspectives (Fortress, 2010)