Fields Systematic theology
Influences Gerhard von Rad
Influenced by Gerhard von Rad
|Name Richard Jensen|
Children Doron Jensen
|Born Richard Alvin Jensen
July 4, 1934
Fremont, Nebraska, U.S. (1934-07-04) |
Institutions Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Wartburg Theological Seminary Luther Seminary
Died November 19, 2014, Lakeville, Minnesota, United States
Institution Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Luther Seminary
Books Lectionary Tales for the Pulpit, Preaching Luke's Gospel: A, Thinking in Story, Filling the Hungry with Goo, Preaching Mark's Gospel: A
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.
Early life and education
Jensen was born on July 4, 1934, in Fremont, Nebraska. He earned his B.A. cum laude in philosophy from Dana College in 1956, his B.D. from Wartburg Theological Seminary in 1959, his S.T.M. from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1962, and his Ph.D. from Aquinas Institute of Theology in 1972.
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. 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. 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.
Contributions to theology
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. 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. Jensen's research was met some skepticism, but ultimately received positive reception from parish pastors, theologians, and college professors.
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. 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 bibilical 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.
Richard Jensen was married to Bonnie L. Jensen, ELCA Global Mission executive director (retired), they had three children: Doron, Dodi, and Derek. Jensen was also a relative of Moritz Thomsen. On November 19, 2014, he died at the age of 80.
Richard Jensen along with his wife Bonnie, received honorary doctorates from Dana College.