Author: Vic Thasiah

Vic Thasiah is a California Naturalist and trail runner.  He is the founder and executive director of Runners for Public Lands, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental organization, and an associate professor and the chair of the religion department at California Lutheran University.

For Life, Work, Politics, and Ecology: Climate Justice and Liberal Education

[1] Over 10,000 youth from 22 countries surveyed by Amnesty International ranked climate change as the most important issue of our time.[1] Teenagers in the United States make the same case.[2] Increasing average temperatures, rising sea levels, extreme weather, ecosystem degradation, biodiversity loss, and mass extinction associated with climate change threaten public health, water supply, […]

Editor’s Comments – Farewell and Thank You

Victor Thasiah has resigned his position with Journal of Lutheran Ethics. In the fall, he will begin teaching Christian ethics in the department of religion at California Lutheran University. He would like to offer these words of farewell and thanks: Farewell readers and contributors! Thanks to Roger Willer, Senior Director for Studies, simply the greatest […]

Editor’s Comments – Christ Made Sin and Criminal Justice

[1] Bodies are eloquent.1 They do, of course, literally speak out, communicating a range of experiences and perspectives; but they also “act out,” with seemingly infinite communicative potential. Much body “talk,” however, is unintentional, consisting of non-verbal action, expressed in one’s overall manner or way of doing things. Reading such body language, whether dealing with […]

Catching Up with Mary Nelson

Mary Nelson is a leading Lutheran social activist who lives on Chicago’s west side. In addition to consulting, teaching, writing, and serving on several boards, she is Chair of the Board of Directors of Sojourners and President Emeritus of Bethel New Life. Journal of Lutheran Ethics recently caught up with Mary, hearing her latest reflections […]

Editor’s Comments – Washing Your Ears: On Inter-Religious Friendships

[1] Shortly after getting to know some young Muslim men from Malindi while traveling in Kenya in 2009, they invited me to join them for prayer — to observe and participate as I wished. Outside of the mosque, after removing my shoes, they welcomed me to wash my hands, feet, face, ears, and mouth — […]

Editor’s Comments – The Advent of Justice

[1] During the Advent season the Christian community approaches its celebration of God with us — the feast of Christmas — by reflecting on and preparing for the “second coming” of Christ the Judge. How do we get ready to face Christ the Judge? Assuming that Christ bases his judgment on what he deems just, […]

Editor’s Introduction – A Matter of Conscience?

[1] Pages 18–21 of the 2009 ELCA social statement Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, which consider same-gender relationships, have not gone unnoticed by members of the ELCA. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that, as the statement puts it, “We have come to various conclusions concerning how to regard lifelong, monogamous, same-gender […]

Editor’s Comments – You Can Handle the Truth

[1] Colonel Nathan Jessup’s thunderous line, “You can’t handle the truth!” reverberated through the nineties.1 Provoked on the stand by Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee’s (Tom Cruise) questioning in the movie A Few Good Men, Jessep (Jack Nicholson) proceeds to lay out some of the harsh realities connected to the American way of life. “Son, we live […]

[1] Haiti’s centuries-old struggles never seem to end. Recent reports of increasing gender-based violence and degradation stress again the urgency of Haiti’s problems.1 This, of course, was completely predictable. It’s not the first time men caught up in a catastrophe have inflicted widespread rape on women and girls. The roughly 1,200 encampments throughout Haiti, not […]

Editor’s Comments – Voluntary Poverty in the Economy of the Spirit

Christ was born in poverty in the stable at Bethlehem, and He died in extreme poverty, nailed naked to the Cross.1 – Karl Barth [1] Leslie Hoppe concludes his recent, comprehensive study of the texts dealing with the poor and poverty in Scripture and the Rabbinic tradition with advice on how Christians should respond today.2 […]

Lying in a Bed of Scorpions

The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child will put his hand into the viper’s nest. – Isaiah 11:8 If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.1 – Stephen R. Covey [1] Though Covey is not […]

Contemplating the Trinity for Lent

[1] The chocolate shop nearby is encouraging people not to give up chocolate for Lent. “Just give up something like red meat,” they say, “or your negative attitudes.” Over the years, I’ve been using Lent as a time to get my life back on track. I’ve given up things like desserts, drinking, and dining out […]