Crisis en Puerto Rico y la voz luterana

Bishop Felipe Lozada-Montañez​ writes from his personal experience living and working on the ground in Puerto Rico to speak out against the corruption both in and inherent in the governmental structure of the island commonwealth. Calling on Martin Luther’s pillar of serving the neighbor, Lozada-Mo​ntañez identifies this injustice as an opportunity for the church to live into its call to serve all people.

Editor’s Introduction: Living in the Shadow of Empire

Once a year members of the Lutheran Ethicist Network convene around a program relevant to the intersections of church and society. This year they met in Toronto, Canada exploring the meaning today of vulnerability and security. More specifically, the title of the event was: “The Meaning of Vulnerability and Security Today in the Light of Global Realities: Living in the Shadow of Empire.” The present issue of JLE makes available to readers a partial but probing sample from the substance of the Gathering.

Living in the Shadow of Empire: A Theological Reflection in Conversation with Indigenous Experience

Indian Residential Schools are a sinful part of Canada’s history that were facilitated and hidden by Empire. Bishop MacDonald explores the history of the schools as well as the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Reflecting on the context of Scripture, he uses the concepts of idolatry, systemic evil, and Empire to explore the role of Christians during the schools’ existence while calling on Christians today to examine their roles in relation to Empire. ​

Editor’s Introduction: Gentrification

Gentrification is a word that was relatively foreign to my vocabulary before moving to Chicago and beginning seminary. Growing up in small towns and suburbs the conversations surrounding housing issues, when they occur, are often “us and them” conversations. Or better yet, “here and there” conversations. It can be quite easy to live in a suburban development and never see or think about housing inequality. Upon beginning my studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) I was immersed into a zealous social justice oriented atmosphere. Housing inequality in the neighborhoods surrounding LSTC specifically and the city of Chicago in general is something that most people acknowledge, but see as too large or systemic to counteract. Still other issues, such as gentrification, are so nebulous that it seems easy to find but difficult to properly define. Gentrification is one small aspect of the housing equality and social responsibility discussions, and will be the focus of this month’s issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. The topic of “Gentrification and Faith” is pursued this month because it seems to be a chimera; people are often quick to identify areas as gentrifying but when it comes to identifying related data, the numbers often either tell a different story, or describe a trend that has already taken place.​

Gentrification: Causes and Consequences

Holland explores the concept of gentrification from an academic standpoint. What is gentrification? How can we talk about something that resists being defined?​ Holland examines the factors of supply, demand, and policy that feed gentrification along with its effects on the people who leave, the people who live there, and the neighborhood itself.

Imagining Whole Cities: The Church’s Role in a Gentrifying Neighborhood

What does gentrification look like to a community living inside of it? Brau and Vasquez from Luther Place Memorial Church explore the congregation’s response to gentrification in Washington D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood. N Street Village ministries was founded out of the congregation to respond to the needs of the neighborhood. How does a congregation respond when poeple who are not impoverished move in, potentially forcing the poor out?​

Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications (Fortress Press, 2013)

Daniel K. Finn. Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013, 412 pages, $49.00.

Money, Religion and Tyranny: God and the Demonic in Luther’s Antifragile Theology

​We very often associate capitalism with the modern Occupy Wall Street movement, or Marx writing in the 19th century. However, Hansen argues Luther himself witnessed the emergence of capitalism in Europe. What did he have to say from a theological perspective about markets and debt?

Neighbor-love’s Moral Framework: From Markets That Concentrate Wealth to Markets That Serve Abundant Life for All

Love thy neighbor. We all know that verse, but what does it mean in terms of the global economy? For instance, how do we love our neighbors in the Global South if we do not know, or ignore, how our economic choices impact them every day? Furthermore, in an age of environmental harm, how do we redefine who our neighbor is? Moe-Lobeda explores these questions while envisioning the possibility of a moral economy.

Frugality: Antidote to Prodigality

in the air and waters. [2] The moral problem is not mainly that we seek “bad things,” though, of course, there are plenty of examples of people grasping for products they shouldn’t have at all, not even in moderation. Instead, the main problem is seeking too much of the many good things in life. In […]