When “Farming and Faith Collide”: The Role of Agrarianism and Libertarianism in the Opposition to the ELCA’s Statement on Genetics and Faith

In 2010, a controversy erupted over the draft of a new social statement on genetics, as some people in farming communities claimed the document labeled using genetically engineered crops as sinful. Glenna and Stofferahn use this case study as a jumping off point to dive into what libertarianism looks like the United States today, particularly in an agrarian context. Can this political stance on the common good be compatible with Christianity?

An Interview with Dennis Gengenbach

[1] JLE: Tell us a little about yourself and your farming operation: how many acres do you farm, what do you produce, what area of the country are you in, how long has this land been in your family? [2] DG: My name is Dennis Gengenbach and I am 54 years old. I have a […]

GMO Foods: Market Ready or Not?

[1] This question continues to be debated around the world. Some consumers, especially many European and Japanese, are not accepting food made from GMOs. A growing minority of US consumers is now raising serious questions as well. [2] Before trying to answer the question posed in the title, I should define what is generally meant […]

Harvesting Controversy: Genetic Engineering and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Case [1] “It’s been quite a year,” thought Tom Moline.” On top of their normal efforts at hunger advocacy and education on campus, the twenty students in the Hunger Concerns group were spending the entire academic year conducting an extensive study of hunger in sub-Saharan Africa. Tom’s girlfriend, Karen Lindstrom, had proposed the idea after […]

Farm Financial Crisis – Challenges for Ministry among Small Town and Rural Communities, Congregations, and Individuals

[1] The challenges for small town and rural America continue to be significant, as they have been for some time. In particular, small town and rural America faces financial stress in many sectors, especially in those communities financially dependent on the agricultural industry. The presence of financial stress has affected these communities, and these effects […]

Land-Use Planning and the Quest for Shalom

[1] Thoreau once quipped, “what is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Middle- and upper-income North Americans enjoy larger private dwellings and more spacious lots than their counterparts in the rest of the industrialized world. Yet, increasingly we are coming to question the health of […]

A Theological Perspective for Creating a New Food System

[1] Basic to a theological formulation about any issues is the question of what informs theology. Many of us have a similar answer worthy of continual study and reflection. We work from our faith traditions in the Bible, from our heritage of experience within our Christian religious community, our own experience within our historical contexts, […]