The Cresset
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A Modern Festschrift
In Honor of Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass
Brian Johnson

The year was 1640. Gregor Ritzsch, a poet of Lutheran hymns and owner of the Leipzig Book print shop, decided that it would be apropos to celebrate the bicentennial of the invention of the art of printing. He called upon a number of poets to contribute to the first Festschrift (festival of writing) to commemorate the noteworthy occasion.

Mark SchwehnIn similar fashion, it is apropos for a Lutheran University to give thanks for its resident inventors. This Special Edition of The Cresset commemorates two members of Valparaiso University upon their retirement at the end of this 2014 academic year, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass. This symposium of writings celebrates their artful contributions to the dual lives of university and church. They have cultivated scholarly attention and interest. They have created community vital to a university’s existence. They have raised a family while nurturing several generations of students, academic institutions, churches, and what could be called “our common life.”

Dorothy BassCurrent and former faculty members, students and scholars, family and friends, congregation members and church leaders all contribute to this modern Festschrift. They ruminate and provoke, praise and critique, remember and compel we readers to think about what these good and faithful servants have done for Valparaiso University, the church, and the world.

These articles are joined by John August Swanson’s serigraph A Visit which draws a viewer to witness salvation history unfold in the midst of a community by seeing the sacred story told in murals on the buildings of the village’s streets. The characters of the Biblical drama, some of which are highlighted in this edition’s poems, chronicle God’s movement throughout all of human existence and point toward how God’s redeeming work punctuates the rhythms of daily living.

It is with deep gratitude that the Office for Campus Ministries partners with The Cresset to offer this printed glimpse into the lives and careers of these two who live among us as scholars, teachers, administrators, colleagues, parents, friends, and people of deep faith.

 

Brian Johnson
Executive Director of Campus Ministries
Valparaiso University

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