Summer Institute is an enjoyable and informative time to experience Gutenberg by sharing meals, discussing the works of influential thinkers, and listening to speakers from the Gutenberg community. We hope you can join us for Summer Institute 2021 on July 29-31!

The Meaning of the City: Rebellion and Redemption


They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name.” (Genesis 11:4)


From the first pages of Genesis, mankind has sought security apart from God. The city stands as the first and foremost expression of that search. As individuals, in what political philosophers called the “state of nature,” we are vulnerable. But together, we strive to overcome the vicissitudes of earthly existence. Despite the rebellious origins of the city, God promises to redeem the city by creating a New Jerusalem. The questions thus arise: What is a city? What function does it perform? And how are we who live in an intensely urban world to understand the meaning of the city? Summer Institute 2021 will explore the nature of cities and urbanization. We will look at what the Bible and other authors have said, with a particular emphasis on modern city life.

Register for Summer Institute



Thursday night, July 29, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Friday night, July 30, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 31, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Gutenberg College
1883 University Street
Eugene, OR 97403

In-Person Cost*

(includes dinner on Friday night; continental breakfast on Saturday morning; and lunch on Saturday):

Before July 15: $85 (Individual); $115 (Family); $40 (Student)
July 15 and after: $100 (Individual); $130 (Family); $45 (Student)

* Financial Aid: Limited financial aid packages are available for those who wish to attend. If you wish to apply, please contact the office.
* Volunteer opportunities: We can also offer reduced costs for volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office.


Gutenberg College Summer Institutes are an opportunity to explore a topic while getting some of the “Gutenberg” experience. That is, we discuss readings from important works in our culture and also listen to talks related to the topic.

Previous Summer Institute Topics:

2020: Struggle & Hope

2019: Tribes and Truth: What Happened to Civil Discourse?

2018: Are We All Reading the Same Bible?

2017: Meaning and Flourishing in a Secular Age

2016: How to Build a Bridge

2015: Reunion: Tanakh and the Gospel of Matthew

2014: What We Have Learned

2013: How To Follow Jesus When You Cannot Kill the Beast

2012: What the BLEEP Can We Know?
2012: The Problem of Evil

2010: Democracy: A User’s Manual

2009: Paychecks, Politics & Paradigms

2007: Søren Kierkegaard

2006: Faith & Science

2005: Disenculturating the Gospel

2004: Making Sense of the Bible

2003: Postmodernism, Reason, and the Church

2002: Christianity & Culture