Dr. Ned Wisnefske dedicates new book to Roanoke College campus community

SALEM, Va. - Dr. Ned Wisnefske, the Schumann Professor of Lutheran Theology at Roanoke College, recently released a new book. He dedicated God Hides: A Critique of Religion and a Primer for Faith "to all those at Roanoke College who have made it a good place to learn." Wisnefske says, "After teaching at Roanoke for 25 years, I realize that many of my ideas have taken shape in the classroom and that everyone who works at the College helps support a friendly learning environment."

God Hides challenges its readers to contemplate what it means to be religious in an age of uncertainty and moral subjectivity. Wisnefske says that the book has three aims: to criticize religion that has become self-serving; to defend the idea that there is a common morality; and to provide the groundwork for a way into the Christian faith and hope. He points to German philosopher Immanuel Kant, Danish theologian and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and 20th-century German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer as major influences in his writing.

 Modeling the three stages on the way to faith-aesthetic, ethical and religious- taught by Kierkegaard, Wisnefske creates a framework for the book around three "spheres of existence," which he characterizes as the pursuit of happiness, the awareness of moral demands, and the belief in God.

"This framework is useful," Wisnefske writes, "because it exposes the cardinal problem with religion today as it is typically understood in the United States... [which is] that religion is part of the pursuit of happiness." Instead, he asserts that we can't reach the religious sphere until "we are aware of our moral failings, understand the need for forgiveness, and hope for salvation."

Dr. Lois Malcolm, associate professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary, says that the book moves "beyond the culture wars between liberals and conservatives" and that Wisnefske "not only criticizes how many understand religion today, but also highlights the importance of ethics for human life and Christian faith."

"In a time when religion and politics are becoming more and more polarized," Wisnefske says, "this book aims to address people in the middle-religious skeptics as well as Christians-who cannot find a home with either liberals or conservatives in our current culture war."

God Hides is Wisnefske's third book. It was released by Pickwick Publications.

Roanoke College, an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a classic, undergraduate setting. Roanoke prepares students for their futures through its commitment to providing a true classic college experience. Roanoke is one of just 280 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast."

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: July 20, 2010
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
Contact Email: gereaux@roanoke.edu