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Faculty Profile - Grant Henley

Grant Henley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of German, Department Chair

On Faculty since 2009
Wyngarden 201

View CV

My research explores the role of Jewish and Christian theology in German literature from a variety of historical periods. Right now, I am working on a monograph that examines the influence and role of Christian thought in German cultural renewal efforts between 1945 and 1949 in Allied-occupied Germany. Before entering academe, I served as a missionary in Germany planting churches in both Munich and Berlin between 1988 and 1992 during the fall of the Berlin Wall and German Reunification. I also worked as a minister with several congregations of the churches of Christ in the United States. I am currently a member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). In addition to my academic interests, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife, Amy, and my two sons, Dan and Joel. I also like swimming, bicycling, and tropical aquaria.

Harvard University
PhD, Germanic Languages and Literatures, 2002

Harvard University
MA, German Literature, 1997

Boston University
BA, Religion, 1982

  • Religious History
  • Christian and Jewish Theology
  • Religious Studies
  • German Literature
  • Church Ministry
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • German Studies Association (GSA)
  • Christian Association of World Languages (CAWL)

Additional Presentations and Appearances
See CV Linked Above

Religious Rhetoric and Cultural Reawakening in the Postwar Journal Der Ruf: Unabhängige Blätter der jungen Generation (1946-1947)
San Diego, CA, German Studies Association Conference 2016

A German Theologian in Uncle Sam’s Court: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cross-Cultural Experience at Union Theological Seminary in New York City (1930/31)
Wheaton, IL, North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA) Conference 2014

Christian Existentialism, Kahlschlagliteratur, and the Ideological Beginnings of the Gruppe 47
Denver, CO, German Studies Association Conference 2013

  • German 103: Accelerated Elementary German
  • German 201: Intermediate German
  • German 332: Multicultural Germany: The Holocaust and Contemporary Jewish Experience
  • German 334/351 (Fall 2013): The Prison Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • German 342: Contemporary German Culture: Politics, Economics, and Current Events
  • German 343: "Was ist deutsch?" German Cultural Identity from Charlemagne to the Berlin Republic
  • German 344: Masterpieces of German Literature from the High Middle Ages to 1850
  • German 345: Masterpieces of German Literature from 1850 – 1980
  • German 351 (Fall 2011): Exploring Kafka: His Life, Writings, and Literary Legacy
  • German 351 (Spring 2013): Coming to Terms with the Past: Postwar German Novels and the Legacy of National Socialism
  • German 432: The Holocaust and Contemporary Jewish Experience
  • German 494-2: From Doubt to Hope: Faith and its Role in German Literature from the Medieval Period to the Fall of the Third Reich (Senior Seminar)
  • German 495 (Fall 2010): Goethe: The Early Works
  • German 495 (Spring 2011): Advanced German Grammar Tutorial
  • "Gottes Verheißung ist unsre Hoffnung: Die Auferstchungsbotschaft Jesu im Johannesevangelium." German Lutheran Worship Service. St. John's United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 6. April 2014.
  • “Das Abendmahl als geistliches Erlebnis gegen die Vergesslichkeit.” Communion Meditation. Sunday Worship Service. Gemeinde Christi München. Munich, Germany. 2 June 2013.
  • “Von Hirten und Himmlischen Heerscharen: Zur geistlichen Rezeption der Weihnachtsbotschaft.” German Lutheran Christmas Eve Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 24 Dec. 2012.
  • “Ingredient 11: Investment.” Part XI of sermon series: “Eats with Sinners” (based on the book Eats with Sinners by Arron Chambers). Sunday Worship Service. Cornerstone Christian Church, Glen Ellyn, IL. 15 July 2012.
  • “Die Welt als Glaube und Entscheidung.” German Lutheran Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 1 July 2012.
  • “Das Abendmahl als Gedenkfeier.” Communion Meditation. Sunday Worship Service. Berliner Gemeinde Christi, Berlin, Germany. 10 June 2012.
  • “Das Wunder zu Pfingsten.” Sunday Worship Service. Gemeinde Christi München, Munich, Germany. 27 May 2012.

Rainer Maria Rilke, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Arts
Grant Henley, 2015

Confronting Kulturpolitik: Testimonialism, Narrative Transgression, and Jewish Historiography in Jurek Becker’s Jakob der Lügner (1969), Naharaim: Zeitschrift für deutsch-jüdische Literatur und Kulturgeschichte
Grant Henley, 2012

‘The Fate of the Young Man Reading in the Church’: Literary Sacramentalism in Alfred Andersch's Sansibar oder der letzte Grund, Literature and Theology
Grant Henley, 2012