Book Reviews

Book Reviews are listed beginning with the most recent issue.

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Review: Enemies of the Cross: Suffering, Truth and Mysticism in the Early Reformation by Vincent Evener

[1] Evener’s revised University of Chicago dissertation explores relationships between selfhood, suffering, and the knowledge of truth in the early Reformation writings of Martin Luther, Andreas Karlstadt, and Thomas Muntzer.  Through meticulous textual work, this account also carefully attends to ways that each author drew differently on earlier traditions of Christian mysticism.   Evener notes that […]

Review: We Carry the Fire: Family and Citizenship as Spiritual Calling by Richard A. Hoehn 

[1] Richard Hoehn, in his book We Carry the Fire, is arguing for a transformative spirituality in which people are called to go beyond themselves – to carry the “breath of fire” – to be in solidarity with the poor (and the earth) in their struggle for freedom from unjust systems and structures. He is […]

Review: Picture the Bible by Stacy Johnson Myers

[1] The book, Picture the Bible, by Stacy Johnson Meyers is an appropriately named children’s Bible. Beginning with creation “In the beginning,” to the Bible’s last word, “Amen,” Picture the Bible affirms God’s baptismal promise “You belong to God,” in 53 sequential stories written for young children, ages four to seven. [2] Beautiful and colorful […]

Book Review: Stjerna, Kirisi.  Lutheran Theology: A Grammar of Faith. (NY: T&T Clark, 2021)

[1] In this issue of JLE, which is dedicated to the discussion of the vocation of ELCA colleges and seminaries, it is fitting to review Kirsi Stjerna’s new handbook on Lutheran theology, a textbook dedicated to her students. This book is, itself, a connection for the Lutheran college with the church and laity.  It provides […]

Editor’s Introduction June/July 2021: Book Review Issue

[1] In a year seized by multiple pandemics, we seek wisdom and courage for the road ahead.  In the words of Rabbi Arthur Waskow, [2] “It is uncanny that the human race as a whole is at the moment struck with a viral disease that attacks most powerfully our ability to breathe.  And uncanny again […]

Review: Dancing in God’s Earthquake: The Coming Transformation of Religion by Arthur Ocean Waskow and Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage by Steven Charleston

[1] In March of 2020 the United States government responded to the existence of the coronavirus in our midst with a call to shut everything down for two weeks.  The worst of it would then pass over us, and we could resume our normal lives once more. [2] It didn’t work out that way. [3] […]

Review: A Nonviolent Theology of Love: Peacefully Confessing the Apostles’ Creed. By Sharon L. Baker Putt

[1] Dr. Murray Haar of Augustana University is famous among his religion department students for the bold warning posted on his office door. “Think…That you may be wrong.” This directive might feel out of place in many Introduction to Systematic Theology texts—the goal of which often involves preserving the interpretations and debates of Western European, […]

Review: Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation by Bruce C. Birch, Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, and Larry Rasmussen

[1] This book is not simply a third edition of the foundational text used in many college and seminary classrooms over the years (including by this author) to study the use of Scripture as a source for doing Christian Ethics. (Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life, by Birch and Rasmussen, 1978, 1989) Instead, it […]

Review: Finding Jesus at the Border: Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of Our Immigrant Neighbors by Julia Lambert Fogg

[1] Are you looking for a book about today’s immigration issues that marries biblical texts with contemporary stories? Here it is! With chapters dedicated to the wall at the southern border,  immigration detention and other issues, Professor Lambert Fogg tells the stories of the immigrants in our communities while at the same time interweaving the […]

Review: Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery by Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah

[1] In 2016, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly overwhelmingly passed a “Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery.” [1] Yet in the intervening years I have noticed that most people I come across have no idea what the Doctrine of Discovery is, or how it affects not only the lives of Native Americans, but also the lives […]