Author: Richard J. Perry

Richard J. Perry, Jr. is Associate Professor of Church and Society and Urban Ministry at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Dr. Perry is a member of the Advisory Council for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, represents the Lutheran Ethicists Network on the Theological Roundtable, and serves as convener of the Conference of International Black Lutherans (CIBL, USA).

Book Review: The Invisible Ache: Black Men Identifying Their Pain And Reclaiming Their Power by Courtney B. Vance and Dr. Robin L. Smith with Charisse Jones

[1] The rise of death by suicide by African Americans is increasingly becoming a prominent topic of discussion in the African American community.  The recent passing of Dr. Antoinette “Bonnie” Candia-Bailey, an administrator at Lincoln University, a historically Black university in Missouri, highlights the mental well-being of African American people.[1] Religious communities, social service organizations, […]

We Want Justice: Retributive, Distributive, and Restorative Justice

[1] I want to begin with a difficult and inexplicable truth: white racism is alive and well in the institutional and cultural life of the United States of America. Since the death of George Floyd, there have been multiple calls for racial reckoning in the United States and around the globe. [1] These calls reveal […]

I’m Tired of the Okey-Doke: Ethics in a Cosmopolitan Era

  This ‘think piece’ is dedicated to the Rev. Dr. Cheryl Stewart Pero, PhD, child of God, friend, colleague, theologian, and advocate for justice in the church and world.[1] “Our hope for creative living in this world house that we have inherited lies in our ability to re-establish the moral ends of our lives in […]

The “We” is Greater than the “I”

[1] We are living in historic times. Two African Americans, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice are serving in high profile political positions within the Bush administration. I’m glad their expertise is being called upon to resolve conflicts around the world. Powell and Rice, through their highly developed skills, pry […]

Daniel Rice’s Reinhold Niebuhr Revisited: Engagements with an American Original

[1] When America learned the President of the United States identified Reinhold Niebuhr as a person who influenced him, I imagine many people scurried to probe more deeply into the nature of Niebuhr’s ethical and political thinking. Of course, there were people wondering who Reinhold Niebuhr is. I imagine some people saw this as an […]

Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Christian Life

[1] Martin Luther King, Jr. was the most celebrated and honored African American in the latter half of the 20th century. Streets named after him and scholarships bearing his name have immortalized the contributions of this Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning, American Christian minister. Moreover, a national holiday was established to celebrate King’s birthday as a way of signaling […]

“Is There Really a Relationship between Genetics and Social Location”[1]

[1] “When [Jesus] went ashore, [Jesus] saw a great [crowd]; and [Jesus] had compassion for them and cured their sick.” (Matthew 14: 14) [2] “I am involved in the genetics of health disparities because African-Americans MUST be involved in research on the human genome if our communities are to benefit optimally from the rapid growth […]

Review of Gilbert Meilaender’s Bioethics: A Primer for Christians

[1] Christian ethics, like Christian theology, is a human enterprise. It is a human enterprise that engages in critical reflection on moral life. One of the tasks of Christian ethics is to uncover the principles, norms, and values that should and really do inform Christian communities in their struggle to answer the ethical question: what […]

A Review of The Paradoxical Vision: A Public Theology for the Twenty-first Century

[1] There is no more timely book than The Paradoxical Vision. Given issues like war, peace, sexuality, and how the “public” voice of the Christian community ought to be expressed, this book provides a theological and ethical framework that is vital. Its vitality lies in a clear articulation of Lutheran “public theology” or “social ethics.” […]

A Review of Ordinary Saints: An Introduction to the Christian Life by Dr. Robert Benne

[1] Professor Robert Benne was probably the best seminary professor I had. One of the great joys I had, as a seminarian student was a course taught by Benne called “Introduction to Church and Society.” This course coupled with Benne’s passion, its methodology, and readings confirmed what I experienced as a church worker in the […]

Introduction of Theme

[1] The next three issues of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics will focus on various dimensions of the theme: “Ethics and Family: An African American Perspective.” The theme emerged in conversations with several members of the Conference of International Black Lutherans (an association of African and African American Lutheran teaching theologians and bishops in the […]