My name is Gisela, and I believe that this life we live is an incredibly beautiful gift from God. The question of what it means to be alive in this world and flourish wherever we are planted is a life-long pursuit of mine. Many years ago I left my home in Germany in order to study a theology that would engage all of life, contemporary culture and the arts in meaningful ways.
I love to travel, and going to museums is one of my favorite Sunday afternoon activities. I have lived, laughed, cried, made friends, studied, and taught in five different countries. This experience has given me a great perspective on life and what it means to be fully alive in a time when the world seems to spin into unknown and sometimes scary territory. When I am not sitting at my desk writing, you might find me paddling on a river, baking bread, leading seminars on spiritual subjects like the power of story, the history of soul care or the baptized imagination. But best of all I like being with family and friends, sitting around a table, enjoying a beautiful meal and sipping a glass of well-crafted wine.
I am also a writer, theologian, and public speaker. As a writer and theologian my primary interest lies in engaging theology with culture and the arts. I believe it is of utmost importance that we re-envision what Christian spirituality might look like in the 21st century and how we can engage contemporary culture in thoughtful ways. As a public speaker I have literally travelled around the world to hold events around the spirituality of wine. I teach beginners and wine experts alike how to cultivate savoring wine as a spiritual practice.
My writings include Soulful Savoring: The Mysterious Gift of Wine Uncorked (forthcoming 2019), The Spirituality of Wine (April 2016) and Storied Revelations: Parables, Imagination and George MacDonald’s Christian Fiction (2013). I speak widely and internationally at conferences, churches and universities on subject matters ranging from the Christian imagination, the rebuilding of Christian communities, the role of the arts in spiritual formation and the spirituality of wine, my latest research interest and ongoing passion. I taught Christian Spirituality for four years at Samford University and have worked with different churches and organizations to establish the arts as a vital part in nourishing the life of faith in contemporary culture.
On a side note, I grew up on a family winery in Germany and have been involved in wine tastings ever since I was old enough to pour wine. This experience has profoundly shaped my spiritualty and the way I do theology. My family has been crafting wine for many generations, and the local Lutheran church serves it in the Lord's Supper.
My ancestors commissioned the chalice you can see to the left in the 15th century for a Franciscan church in Rothenburg.