Doctor of Philosophy
Graduate Theological Union

Master of Divinity
Wartburg Theological Seminary

Bachelor of Arts
The Colorado College

Download Curriculum Vitae

Rev. Dr. Kristin Johnston Largen


Faculty Biography

The Rev. Dr. Kristin Johnston Largen was born in Colorado and still considers Colorado the home of her heart. After serving as a parish pastor in Arvada, Colorado, she began teaching at Gettysburg Seminary (now United Lutheran Seminary) in 2006 and taught in the area of systematic theology, focusing particularly on comparative theology with Buddhism and Hinduism. She also works in 21st century theology, specifically with feminist and liberation theologies. She is the editor of Dialog: A Journal of Theology, and her most recent books are Finding God among our Neighbors, vol. 1 & 2 (Fortress Press, 2013 & 2017), and A Christian Exploration of Women’s Bodies and Rebirth in Shin Buddhism (Lexington Books, 2020).

Dr. Largen was a student at Wartburg Seminary, which was a formative experience for her as a Christian, a theologian, and a human being. While at the seminary, she was fortunate enough to spend a month in Guyana, working in New Amsterdam; a year as an exchange student in Neuendettelsau [where she met one of her best friends, who is the mother to her goddaughter]; and a summer teaching with Dr. Duane Priebe at the seminary in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Coming back to Wartburg feels like coming home. Prior to accepting the call as President of Wartburg Seminary, Dr. Largen served half-time as Professor of Systematic Theology at United Lutheran Seminary and half-time as Associate Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life/College Chaplain at Gettysburg College. She is a runner, hiker, avid reader, longtime vegetarian and animal lover, and amateur harp player.

Her husband, John, is recently retired. John is also an ELCA pastor, and served the majority of his career at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. He first came to the seminary as the admissions director, and then moved into the position of Pastor to the Seminary Community for Spiritual Formation; John has his D.Min. in Spiritual Formation and has led many workshops, retreats and pilgrimages.

She and John, and their Jack Russell Terrier Rufus, live on the Wartburg Campus in Dubuque, where you will often see Dr. Largen and Rufus out exploring the neighborhood.

Dr. Largen also blogs regularly at

A Christian Exploration of Women’s Bodies in Shin Buddhism, Lexington Books, 2020.

“Plurality and Salvation: Possibilities in Pannenberg’s Soteriology for Comparative Theology,” in Theology for the Future: The Enduring Promise of Wolfhart Pannenberg, ed. by Andrew Hollingsworth, Lexington Books, 2020.

“A Comparative Inquiry into the Real,” in Theology and Westworld, ed. by Juli Gittinger and Shayna Sheinfeld. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020.

“Women’s Bodies, Rebirth and Shin Buddhism,” Dialog 58:3 (Fall 2019).

“The Medusa, the Centaur, and the Dragon-Goddess: An Indirect Look at Benzaiten,” Pacific World, 3rd ser., no. 20 (2018), 21-28.

“Un/Natural Death and Extinction,” Dialog 57:4 (Winter 2018)

“The Nembutsu of Jōdo Shinshu Buddhism,” in Learning from Other Religious Traditions: Leaving Room for Holy Envy, edited by Hans Gustafson. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave McMillion, 2018.

“Response to ‘What is Wrong with Us? What is Wrong with the World?’,” Buddhist-Christian Studies 37 (2017), 41-45.

“Luther’s Theology and Interreligious Dialogue in the 21st Century,” Touchstone 35:2 (June 2017), 20-29.

“The Four Words of Inspector Gamache,” Dialog 45:1 (Summer 2017).

“Martin Luther, Jizō and Miscarriage,” Seminary Ridge Review, Spring 2017

Finding God Among Our Neighbors, vol. 2. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, February, 2017.

Part I, Christianity, in World Religions in Dialogue, 2nd edition, February, 2017.

“Neighbors, Neighbor-Love, and our Animal Neighbors,” Word & World vol. 37 (1), Winter 2017, 37-45.

“The Holy Spirit, Spirts and Spirituality: Spirit-filled Guidelines for Transformative, Loving Dialogue,” in Interactive Pluralism in Asia: Religious Life and Public Space, edited by Simone Sinn and Ton Wing-Sze. Geneva: The Lutheran World Federation, 2016, 73-85.

Sundays and Seasons: Preaching, Year A, Lectionary 17-23, 2017. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2016.

“Dialog in Diversity,” in Currents in Theology and Mission, vol. 43 (1), 2016.

“Prolepsis and the Abolition of Hell,” in Anticipating God’s New Creation: Essays in Honor of Ted Peters, ed. by Carol R. Jacobson and Adam W. Pryor. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran University Press, 2015. pp. 111-128. 4

“Whose Buddhism? Whose Identity? Presenting and/or Misrepresenting Shin Buddhism for a Christian Audience,” Buddhist Christian Studies, vol. 35 (2015), pp. 29-35.

Theological Perspective essays for John, chapter 20, in Feasting on the Gospels—John, vol. 2. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015.

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, December 2014/January 2015.

“Religious Identity in the 21st Century: Virtual Communities, Double-Belonging, and the Place of the Individual,” in Ecumenical Trends Vol. 44 (no. 1), January 2015, 1-7.

Interreligious Learning and Teaching: A Christian Rationale for a Transformative Praxis, with Mary E. Hess and Christy Lohr Sapp. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014.

“Jesus’ Prophethood and Islam: Insights from the Risale-i Nur,” Dialog 53:3 (Fall 2014), 203-213.

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, February/March, 2014.

“A Walk on the Dark Side: A Christian Reflection on Kāli,” Currents, February 2014.

Introduction to World Religions, 2nd edition, Inkling ebook, general editor. February, 2014.

“Appreciation and Appropriation: Christian “Borrowing” of Buddhist Practices,” Pacific World, Third Series, No. 15 (Fall 2013), 105-116.

“Freedom From and Freedom For: Luther’s Concept of Freedom for the 21st Century,” Dialog 52:3 (Fall 2013), 232-343.

Finding God Among Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Systematic Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013.

“I Love to Tell the Story: Reshaping the Narrative of Adoption,” Dialog: 51:4 (Winter, 2012), 284-293.

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, November, 2012.

Baby Krishna, Infant Christ: A Comparative Theology of Salvation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011.

“The Role of Fear in our Love of God: A Lutheran Perspective,” Dialog: 50:1 (Spring, 2011).

“Response to ‘The Ethical Horizon’: Fidelity, Hospitality, and Justice,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 45:3, Summer 2010.

“Buddhist-Christian Dialogue,” entry for Oxford Bibliographies Online [Buddhism], fall 2010.

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, April, 2010.

“What God has Created will not be Lost: Constructing a more Inclusive Soteriology,” in Transformative Theological Practices, edited by Karen Bloomquist. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran University Press, 2010.

“Nāgārjuna’s World View: Relevance for Today,” Pacific World, No. 11, (Fall 2009).

Theological Perspective for Isaiah 43:16-21 [Lent 5], & Isaiah 50:4-9a [Liturgy of the Passion], in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C, Vol. 2, David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor, general editors. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.

“A Christian Rationale for Vegetarianism,” Dialog 48:2 (Summer 2009), 147-157.

“’Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust’”—Ramifications of a Relational Anthropology,” Journal of Lutheran Ethics, May 2009.

What Christians can learn from Buddhism: Rethinking Salvation, Fortress Press, April, 2009. 5

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, January, 2009.

“Jonah,” in The Lutheran Study Bible, Fortress Press, Spring, 2009.

“Rethinking Salvation: Christian Soteriology in light of Interfaith Dialogue,” in

Deepening Faith, Hope, and Love in Relations with Neighbors of Other Faiths, Lutheran World Federation, Feb. 2008.

“Biblical Authority in Light of Religious Pluralism,” Seminary Ridge Review, 10:1 (Fall 2007), 60-76.

“On Pluralism, Comparative Theology & Tariq Ramadan: A Response to Ted Peters,” Dialog 46:3 (Winter 2007).

“Theological Themes,” Lectionary Homiletics, Oct./Nov. 2007.

“Liberation, Salvation, Enlightenment,” Dialog, 45:3 (Fall 2006): 263-274.

“The ‘How’ of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue: an Inquiry into Methodology,” in The Transforming Spiritual Landscape: Buddhist-Christian Encounters, edited by Ronald Y. Nakasone. Fremont, CA: Dharma Cloud Publishers, 2005.

“Christian Theology as depicted in The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter Narratives,” Journal of Religion & Society, Volume 7 (2005).

“Interreligious Dialogue & the Christian Claim,” Dialog 43:2 (Spring 2004): 133-138.

Wittgenstein and Religion, edited with David Stagaman and James Kraft. Manila: Ateneo de Manila University, 2001.

“Pied Beauty: A Celebration of Uniqueness,” Currents in Theology and Mission, 27:4 (August, 2000): 267-270.

“Discerning God’s Call,” Currents in Theology and Mission, 27:1 (Feb. 2000): 42-44.

“Over All Creation,” Currents in Theology and Mission, vol. 25, April, 1998, 137-141

Comparative Theology, Constructive Systematic Theology specifically Feminist Theologies & Liberation Theologies, Buddhism, Hinduism, World Religions, Animal Theology, Literature & Theology