Science, Biological, Medical (genetics, illness/mental illness, death)

Editor’s Introduction: Special May Issue 2020

[1] The Journal of Lutheran Ethics aims at connecting academics, clergy, and congregations in thoughtful dialogue on contemporary ethical issues.  One goal of the journal is to present and encourage constructive theological thinking at the moment in which it is most needed.  To that end, we have put together a special issue of JLE for May, 2020 in response […]

Congregational Discussion Guide: COVID-19

For Congregational Discussion   [1] The Journal of Lutheran Ethics hopes to provide reading material to stimulate thinking and conversation among academics, clergy, and laity. To this end, this section of JLE is provided in order to encourage constructive discussion within congregations about the topics discussed in JLE.  Consider using this section in formal adult […]

On What We Might Learn from Luther About Ministry in A Pandemic

  [1] COVID-19 disparately impacts our lives and families. My elderly parents fear contracting the virus, even though their rural Western North Carolina home makes social distancing a fact of life. In Los Angeles, my brother, a clinical psychologist, sees patients via Skype, while trying to home school my nephew. My best friend fears catching […]

Anxiety, Atonement, and Vocation

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all […]

Virtually There: Martin Marty, Cyberspace, and Cultures of Trust in the 21st Century

[ 1] At the university where I teach, opportunities exist for students to receive funding to collaborate with faculty on summer research projects. This summer, one student working with me is investigating social forms beyond religion that provide non-religiously affiliated people (the “nones”) with meaningful community-based social ties and opportunities for civic engagement. To set […]

Technology, Lutheranism, and the Proclamation

[1] An essay in a journal about Lutheran ethics must do two things by my view, it must say something practical about how we live together, and it must speak from a particular theological vantage point. This is a big target, too big. Fortunately, I have been graciously asked to tie this all together using […]

When Did We See You, Lord?

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the […]

The H1N1 Pandemic: Ethics and the Common Good

Our Story [1] As the second wave of H1N1 flu infection was peaking in late fall of 2009, many epidemiologists concurred that, fortunately, this flu pandemic would most likely be less severe than earlier anticipated. At the same time, many health officials were highly critical of those who had been prematurely lulled into complacency following […]

Review: Chance, Necessity, Love: An Evolutionary Theology of Cancer by Leonard M. Hummel and Gayle E. Woloschak

[1] 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 […]

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?