Ted Peters is an author, professor, and pastor. He is Research Professor Emeritus in Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California.
U.S. War Culture, Sacrifice and Salvation by Kelly Denton-Borhaug || I have been stunned by the careful discernment offered by Kelly Denton-Borhaug in her book of 2011, U.S. War Culture, Sacrifice and Salvation. When it comes to the service of the Christian church to the wider culture, this kind of theological and social analysis functions as a prophetic witness that reveals to ourselves just who we are as a people and as a nation. In what follows, I’d like to respond to Denton-Borhaug’s prophetic prompt within the framework of public theology in the United States.
Economism is a myth that requires demythologizing. Economist and ecologist Richard Norgaard insightfully describes economism as a secular religion at whose altar American society and many other societies worship. Economism is the free-market ideology that has so imprisoned the American mind that it can no longer address the urgent matter of climate change. Economism is an idolatrous religion that is leading the planet to destruction. This article augments Norgaard’s treatment of economism by calling it a myth and then offering a prophetic critique in the form of demythologizing, or better, demythicizing. Only by demythologizing the myth of economism can the church speak to the larger society’s responsibility to care for the poor and the planet in light of a vision of the common good.
In a time of moral ambiguity surrounding discussions of drone warfare, Peters invokes Luther’s “Sin Boldly!” to urge people to adopt a “responsibility ethic” that puts the neighbor’s needs at the forefront of ethical deliberation. In our broken world, can we avoid sin? No. Therefore, Peters asks the question–“Should we try?” For him, the answer is no. In order to best serve our neighbors, we need to accept that doing our best is better than doing nothing at all.
Introduction  On December 12, 2008 The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a teaching document, Dignitatis Personae: The Vatican’s New Instruction on Bioethics. On this occasion Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, now president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, applauded “developments which advance medical progress with respect for the sanctity of human […]
1] Abstract: Proleptic ethics begins by projecting a vision of a preferred future; then it seeks creative opportunities to actualize the vision. Grounded in God’s eschatological promise of transformation and new creation, proleptic ethics projects a vision of a just, sustainable, and healthy society. This approach is contrasted with the ethical task according to stop […]