Grant Henley, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor of German
On Faculty since 2009

Phone: (630)752-5795
Email:

Education

Ph.D., Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, 2002

M.A., German Literature, Harvard University, 1997

B.A., Religion, Boston University, 1982

About Grant Henley

My research explores the role of Jewish and Christian theology in German literature from a variety of historical periods.  I am currently working on a monograph that is examining the influence of Christian thought in German cultural renewal efforts between 1945 and 1949 in Allied-occupied Germany. I have recently completed a short article on the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s use of the Bible in his works that will be forthcoming this year (2015) in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Arts.

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.

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.

Courses Taught 

  • 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: 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 494-2: 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

Membership in Professional Societies

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)

German Studies Association (GSA)

North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA)

Publications: Books

Cultural Confessionalism: Literary Resistance and the Bekennende Kirche. Studies in Modern German Literature. Vol. 102. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007.

Publications: Articles in refereed journals or reference works

"Rilke, Rainer Maria in: The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Arts. Forthcoming 2015.

“Confronting Kulturpolitik: Testimonialism, Narrative Transgression, and Jewish Historiography in Jurek Becker’s Jakob der Lügner (1969).” NaharaimZeitschrift für deutsch-jüdische Literatur und Kulturgeschichte 6.1 (2012): 20-37.

“‘The Fate of the Young Man Reading in the Church’: Literary Sacramentalism in Alfred Andersch's Sansibar oder der letzte Grund.” Literature and Theology 26.1 (March 2012): 53-76.

“‘Die mir recht in die Seele strahlte:’ Aspects of a Pietist Poesie in B. H. Brockes’s Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott.” Monatshefte 103.1 (Spring 2011): 1-22.

“The Language Café Experience: Creating a Special Venue for Intercultural Communication." The Language Educator  3.6 (November 2008): 28-31.

“Victor Lange.” Zusammen mit Theodore Ziolkowski und mit freundlicher Unterstützung von Frances Lange. Internationales Germanistenlexikon 1800–1950. Herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Christoph König. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004. 1051–53.

“‘Aus der Fülle des Herzens’ – Rilke’s Biblical Poetry in Der Neuen Gedichte, Anderer Teil.” Neophilologus 84.4 (October 2000): 609–26.

Conference Presentations

“A German Theologian in Uncle Sam’s Court: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cross-Cultural Experience at Union Theological Seminary in New York City (1930/31).” North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA) Conference 2014. Wheaton, IL. 21 March 2014.

“Christian Existentialism, Kahlschlagliteratur, and the Ideological Beginnings of the Gruppe 47.” German Studies Association Conference 2013. Denver, CO. 6. October 2013.

"Der Sünde Sold im Spiegel höfischer Kultur: Medieval Notions of the Wages of Sin, Debt to Society, and Audience Expectation in Hartmann von Aue’s Gregorius.” Midwest Modern Language Association Convention 2012. Cincinnati, OH. 9. November 2012.

“Confronting DDR Cultural Politics: Narrative Transgression, Jewish Historiography and Prophetic Discourse in Jurek Becker’s Jakob der Lügner (1969).” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference 2012. Lexington, KY. 20 April 2012.

“Johannine Testimonialism and Narrative Voice in Jurek Becker’s Jakob der Lügner (1969).” NACFLA Conference 2011. Abilene, TX. 8 April 2011.

“The Language Café Experience: Creating Intercultural Communicative Opportunities for the Foreign Language Curriculum.” TFLTA Annual Conference. Nashville, TN. 7 Nov. 2008.

“Servus in...the Classroom, on Campus, and in the Community: A Tutorial and Support Approach for German Program Development.” AATG Sustaining the Momentum Task Force Workshop. Goethe Institute. Chicago, IL. 13 Sept. 2008.

“Outside of the Box: Rethinking and Rebuilding the Small Undergraduate German Program.” ACTFL-SIG Small Undergraduate German Programs. ACTFL 2007 Convention. San Antonio, TX. 17 Nov. 2007.

“PowerPoint on the Run: Curriculum Ideas for Quickly Integrating Images, Text, and Music in the Communicative Classroom Environment (German).” Southeast Association for Language Learning Technology (SEALLT) Conference. Charleston, SC. 10 March 2006.

Presentations/Panel Discussions: by invitation

“Alfred Andersch’s Literary Sacramentalism.” Humanities Brown Bag Colloquium. Wheaton College. Wheaton, IL. 20 January 2012.

“Thinking about Being a Pastor?” Question and Answer Forum on Full-Time Ministry (together with Drs. Greenman, Ryken, and Schwanda). Phelps Room (Beamer Center). Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. 26 Jan. 2011.

“Panel Discussion on Bonhoeffer’s Life Together.” A Faculty-Student Dialogue Hosted by College Librarian, Prof. Lisa Richmond (together with Drs. Treier, Johnson, Hawkins, Schwanda, and Buchanan). Barrows Auditorium (Billy Graham Center). Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. 4 Nov. 2010.

“The Language Café Experience: Creating Intercultural Communicative Opportunities for the Foreign Language Curriculum.” Presented by special invitation to the faculty in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Rhodes College. Memphis, TN. 9 Mar. 2009.

“PowerPoint on the Run: Curriculum Ideas for Quickly Integrating Images, Text, and Music in the Communicative Classroom Environment (German).” Version 2. Presented by special invitation to foreign language faculty and graduate teaching assistants affiliated with the Language Resource Center. Columbia University. New York, NY. 13–14 April 2006.

“Heimatdichtung as Resistance Literature: Ernst Wiechert’s Die Majorin.” Dept. of English and Modern Foreign Languages (EMFL) Scholarship Luncheon. Lee University. 17 Nov. 2004.

Sermons and Devotional Messages in Community Churches (German and English)

“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.

“Immanuel: Das Zeichen Gottes Beistand und Souveränität.” German Lutheran Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 24 Dec. 2011.

“Die Qual der Wahl: Gottes Aufruf jedes Einzelnen in die Nachfolge Jesu.” German Lutheran Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 3 July 2011

“Zufriedenheit in dem HERRN.” Sunday Worship Service. Gemeinde Christi München, Munich, Germany. 29 May 2011.

“Aller Anfang beginnt mit Jesus Christus.” German Lutheran Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 1 Jan. 2011.

“Die Alltäglichkeit der Allmacht Gottes.” German Lutheran Christmas Eve Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 24 Dec. 2010.

“Foundations of Christian Fellowship.” Sunday Worship Service. Cornerstone Christian Church, Glen Ellyn, IL. 2 Dec. 2010.

“Growing to Maturity in Christ.” Sunday Worship Service. Cornerstone Christian Church, Glen Ellyn, IL. 7 Nov. 2010.

“Unselige Habseligkeiten: Das Gleichnis von dem reichen Kornbauern.” German Lutheran Worship Service. St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL. 1 Aug. 2010.

“Patience.” Part IV of sermon series on the fruit of the Spirit: “The Nine.” Sunday Worship Service. Cornerstone Christian Church, Glen Ellyn, IL. 30 May 2010.

University Service

 Co-Director of the “Wheaton in Germany I” Study Abroad Program

Faculty Freshman Advisor (2011–2013)

Chair, Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee (2013-2014)

Chair, Comprehensive Calendar Review Task Force (2012–Winter 2014)

General Education Subcommittee Member (2011–2012)

Faculty Supervisor, WheTEP Program (2010–2011)

Faculty Advisor, Der Deutsche Verein (German Club)

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