Rev. Dr. Roger Willer serves as Director for Theological Ethics on the Theological Discernment Team in the Office of the Presiding Bishop. He also serves as Publisher for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics.
Review: Chance, Necessity, Love: An Evolutionary Theology of Cancer by Leonard M. Hummel and Gayle E. Woloschak
 The very forces that bring living species into existence –including us!– also bring cancer into being. Specifically, the forces of chance (random occurrences) and necessity (law-like regularities) are required for human life, and they are also what make cancer possible. This unnerving finding from the biological sciences is the brutal fact explained and addressed […]
 This June/July issue of the Journal ties up several threads. One of those is marked by the Resolution in loving memory of the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols, who served for several years as JLE’s editor. As JLE’s “publisher” I claim a moment of privilege as part of that recognition to write a bit […]
This June/July issue of the Journal ties up several threads. One of those is marked by the Resolution in loving memory of the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols, who served for several years as JLE’s editor. As JLE’s “publisher” I claim a moment of privilege as part of that recognition to write a bit more than editors usually do in JLE. I also tie up a thread here as I finish my stint as guest editor. The traditional book review issue of August/September also will introduce our new editor.
Reflecting on Romans 12:2, Willer explores how theological discernment is essential when working to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The Journal is a way for readers to morally discern a Lutheran response to the pressing issues of the day while exposing them to new perspectives and voices.
This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE) may seem like an April Fool’s prank. Yes, regular readers will note this was supposed to be the March/April issue, not an April/May. What happened to March? An April Fool’s prank? And again, isn’t Carmelo Santos the JLE editor? Is he masquerading as some “fake editor” Roger Willer? No, this issue is not a prank and the focused theme of growing income and wealth inequality is certainly no joking matter. So, what’s going on? This issue marks transitions. There is a transition to a new publication schedule, each of the six bimonthly JLE issues will now be posted on or near the 1st of the even numbered months rather than on the odd numbered ones. I will not weary readers explaining the “back-end” reasons for this switch but will draw your attention to the more important transition, that of editorship.
This month the Journal of Lutheran Ethics features two editorials by ELCA leaders who live personally and professionally with the myriad issues facing Puerto Rico. These concerns also lie close to the heart and mind of JLE’s editor Carmelo Santos who first suggested this topic, sought out the appropriate writers, and translated one of the […]
What does it mean to die well in this culture? Last January that question brought together nearly 50 Lutheran ethicists, pastors, chaplains, hospital and hospice care-givers at the annual Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering for a rich and wide-ranging discussion. The April and May issues of JLE are dedicated to sharing key insights for its audience by presenters to the Gathering. Like sharing news of a superb hole-in-the wall restaurant, we want others to benefit from the excellent fare of last January.
What does it mean to die well in this culture? While far too many people never have the opportunity to face that question because their lives are snuffed out, it is being asked with greater urgency and frequency as contemporary societies become more scientifically and medically sophisticated.
There are many different philosophies of ethics. Which ones have informed the ELCA and how has that changed over its 25 year history? Dr. Roger Willer, Director for Theological Ethics in the Office of the Presiding Bishop, charts out the ELCA’s use of responsibility ethics, including what still has yet to be done.
Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice Prologue I) The Church’s Vision of Creation God, Earth, and All Creatures Our Place in Creation II) The Urgency Sin and Captivity The Current Crisis III) The Hope The Gift of Hope Hope in Action IV) The Call to Justice Justice through Participation Justice through Solidarity Justice through […]
 Whether or not it’s true that change is the only constant in the universe, change has been the constant theme behind the scenes for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics in the past 10 months. As most JLE reader’s now know, editor Victor Thasiah has resigned his position with the ELCA’s churchwide office to teach […]
 In its nine years of publication Journal of Lutheran Ethics has become synonymous with the best characteristics of moral deliberation and an internationally appreciated tool for theological reflection. The Rev. Kaari Reierson, founding editor, has been the single most significant reason for its existence, shape and success. This fact did not preclude the elimination […]
 Note: At the 2009 Annual Gathering of Lutheran Ethicists, Roger Willer introduced and described and commented upon the ethical and theological approach taken by the ELCA Task Force on Genetics in its study, Genetics and Faith: Power, Choice, and Responsibility.  Willer’s comments are not written down and presented in this issue of JLE, […]