Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213,

October 2, 2012

Wesley Granberg-Michaelson Named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at John W. Kluge Center

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed Wesley Granberg-Michaelson as a distinguished visiting scholar at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center.

Granberg-Michaelson will use the Library’s resources to conduct research for a forthcoming book on the impact of major demographic changes in the Christian world. Specifically, he will examine how the diversity and expressiveness of denominations in Africa, Latin America and Asia impact efforts toward Christian unity.

"The typical Christian in the world today is a woman in a village in Kenya," said Granberg-Michaelson. "The shifts to Africa, Asia and Latin America constitute an astonishing change in how Christianity is present within the world. That presents a huge challenge in Christianity in learning how to stay in relationship to one another." According to Granberg-Michaelson, Christianity in the Global South tends to be more spiritually expressive and more jubilant than in the North. This poses challenges when immigrants from these countries arrive in the United States or Europe.

"I was talking to one leader who was asking what to do with a very large Ethiopian congregation in Phoenix, Ariz., that was trying to become part of them," Granberg-Michaelson said. "It’s how those things are shaping the future of Christianity that has really captured my attention."

Raised with a strong evangelical background, Granberg-Michaelson attended Princeton Seminary and served as an aide to U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield before entering the ministry. He was appointed as general secretary of the Reformed Church in America in 1994 and served for 17 years.

Granberg-Michaelson will sit in residence at the Kluge Center for six weeks while finishing his forthcoming book.

"The Library of Congress will help give me access to patterns of immigration from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere," he said. "And being in an atmosphere where you have information at your fingertips and an ability to isolate and focus—well, there’s no place like it in the world."

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit

# # #

PR 12-184
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top