Distinguished Panel to Discuss St. John Passion

St. John Passion score 

Why is Bach's St. John Passion so controversial?

Soli Deo Gloria is sponsoring a panel discussion addressing the issue of anti-Judaism in Bach's masterwork. The panel consists of two prominent theologians, two musicologists, and John Nelson, the conductor for the Chicago Bach Project presentation of the St. John Passion on March 20, 2015.




  • Jesse Rosenberg, Coordinator of the Musicology Program, Northwestern University
  • Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity, University of Chicago Divinity School
  • Robert J. Karris, OFM,  former professor at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago; research professor emeritus at St. Bonaventure University
  • Johann S. Buis, Associate Professor of Musicology, Wheaton College Conservatory of Music
  • John Nelson, conductor of the Chicago Bach Project St. John Passion


  FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015
5:30 - 6:45 p.m.
Union League Club of Chicago
Tudor Room
65 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago

The event is free and open to the public.
Reservations are not needed, but we would love to know who's coming.
Please click here to drop us a note.


Jesse Rosenberg 

Jesse Rosenberg received his Ph. D. from New York University, and in 1998 joined the faculty of Northwestern University, where he is currently Coordinator of the Musicology Program. As a scholar, he specializes mainly in 19th-century opera, and he is a contributor to New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992), Pipers Enzyclopädie des Musiktheaters  (1996), and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians  (2000). His research interests include musical aesthetics and the convergence of music with fields such as literature, poetry, and theology . His current research project involves the intersection of opera and Jewish identity.


Martin E. Marty

Martin E. Marty taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School from 1963 to 1998, where he held an endowed chair. He also served as president of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association. He has served on two U. S. Presidential Commissions and was director of  the Public Religion Project at the University of Chicago. His dozens of published books include Martin Luther (2004). He has been a columnist and senior editor for The Christian Century magazine since 1956 and writes a weekly column for the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School. 


Robert J. Karris, OFM

Robert J. Karris, OFM is a former professor at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago; research professor emeritus at St. Bonaventure University; and a Franciscan priest of the Sacred Heart Province. He earned an STL from Catholic University of America and a Th.D. from Harvard University. Currently, he is research professor emeritus at The Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University. He has been widely published, and his most recent New Testament books include John: Stories of the Word and Faith. He is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and general editor of the 15-volume Works of St. Bonaventure series published by Franciscan Institute Publications. 


Johann S. Buis

Johann S. Buis is Associate Professor of Musicology at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and has also held positions at the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR), Columbia College Chicago, and the University of Georgia. He holds degrees and diplomas from London University, Ball State University, the University of Cape Town, and the Orff Institute, Mozarteum Academy, Salzburg, among others. He has been a Fulbright scholar and a Rockefeller Resident Research Fellow, and is much in demand as a lecturer for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other organizations.


 John Nelson

John Nelson, conductor of the Chicago Bach Project's St. John Passion, has conducted many of the world’s top orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic. He has held the title of Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Caramoor Music Festival in New York, and from 1998 to 2008 was Musical Director of the L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Nelson is renowned for his interpretation of the great sacred choral literature and is the Founding Artistic Director of Soli Deo Gloria.



Chicago Bach Project logo


FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015

7:30 p.m.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance

205 East Randolph Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60601


TICKET: $25 - $55

Order online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org
or phone 312.334.7777

(Student tickets $12.50, available at the Harris Box Office with student I.D.  Group discounts available for 10 or more. )  


For more information, visit ChicagoBachProject.org.