Emil Brunner and ICU

Exhibition Period

Exhibition outline

Emil Brunner is a Protestant theologist, also known as one of the founders of dialectical theology. The year 2019 marks the 130th anniversary of his birth. He was born in Swiss and spent his youth in Zürich. In 1924 he started his academic career as a professor of the University of Zurich, and later served president of the university.

At the invitation of International Christian University (ICU), he came to Japan in 1953 and taught there as a visiting professor until he left Japan in 1955. During the period, he energetically gave lectures and speeches at various places as well as at ICU, striving to bring a ray of hope to young people and many others who were still devastated shortly after the war.

What brought Brunner, a genuine native of Switzerland, all the way to a Japanese university in the Far East? What did he think about universities and Christianity in Japan and how did he look to the future of Japan? We will explore answers to these questions. We will look into what he calls "Faith, hope, and love," or in other words, "The past, future, and present," starting from the point of his encounter with ICU, which was established after the war as a university with a new concept, and will appreciate Brunner’s messages for the present ICU, and eventually, for the present modern society.