European Continent

Review: Christ of the Celts, by J. Philip Newell

[1]  J. Philip Newell’s book, Christ of the Celts is not a new book but its endorsement of Celtic Christianity can remind us that “the matter of creation is a holy and living energy born from the hidden depths of God.” (xiv)  At the center of his argument is the conviction rooted in Celtic Christianity that […]

Learning from the Barmen Declaration of 1934: Theological-Ethical-Political Commentary

19   [1] The Barmen Theological Declaration was crafted and adopted in May 1934 by a scholarly team whose guiding figure was Karl Barth. The context for this theological statement included the increasing machinations by the German Christians, supported in their efforts by the Nazi regime, to control and dominate the Protestant churches in Germany […]

May 17th, 2015 Commencement Speech by Archbishop Antje Jackelén at Lutheran School of Theology Chicago

Archbishop Antje Jackelén addressed the Class of 2015 at the Lutheran Schol of Theology Chicago at their commencment. She notes that when Jesus prayed for the apostles to unite and protect them as they are out in the world. Jesus would not take us away from the world: we are invited into it to share the joy we have in Christ. Climate change will test our ability to hope and to care for our neighbor. Faith leaders need to be at the forefront of this movement that spans all borders.

Editor’s Introduction: Dying Well – What Have Churches Said?

What does it mean to die well in this culture? Last January that question brought together nearly 50 Lutheran ethicists, pastors, chaplains, hospital and hospice care-givers at the annual Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering for a rich and wide-ranging discussion. The April and May issues of JLE are dedicated to sharing key insights for its audience by presenters to the Gathering. Like sharing news of a superb hole-in-the wall restaurant, we want others to benefit from the excellent fare of last January.

European Protestant churches reflect on end-of-life issues

In her article, Schmidt examines the document “A time to live, and a time to die” a document created and adopted by Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. Grounded in Protestant theology, the document intends to guide the leaders and parishioners of CPCE’s member churches to think about this complex ethical issue, considering both the public voice of the church as an institution and for people struggling with these issues in th​eir own families.

The Lutheran Church in Latvia Wants to Ban the Ordination of Women

[1] On November 11, 2009 there was an atmosphere of anxiety in the Youth Center of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church (LELC) in Riga’s Old City as LELC pastors and evangelists met. The agenda of the LELC Pastors’ Conference had as a point of debate the question of women’s ordination — should the new Constitution […]

How should Christians respond to atrocities overseas? A look at the ethical implications of Nazism, Rwanda, and Darfur

Introduction According to most estimates, violence in the Darfur region of Sudan has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people since 2003, with many more forced to flee their homes. Charges of genocide have been leveled by many in the international community, including President Bush and Congress. The goal of this study […]

God, Church, and Country: Berggrav’s Leadership in the Norwegian Resistance

[1] In December 1944 the Norwegian Lutheran bishop Eivind Josef Berggrav (1884-1959) was featured on the cover of Time, becoming one of the few protestant religious figures to have been thus honored.1 In 1942, the New York Times chose him as one of the six religious leaders to be profiled in a series headlined “Churchmen […]

Some remarks on the stem-cell debate from a Lutheran theologian in Germany

[1] 1. Biotechnology develops in cultural contexts, and not in isolation in the laboratory. At first glance, the driving forces behind biotechnology are the hard sciences: biological and medical research, new technologies and the interest in making a profit in an expanding sector of the economy: health care. But these developments have consequences that go […]

Homosexuality in the Danish Lutheran Church

[1] In the Church of Denmark a pastor can, after having sought guidance by his/her bishop, offer a “divine service” for a homosexual couple that has decided to enter into a so-called registered partnership. In order to understand this state of affairs, it will be helpful to review some basic information about the religious situation […]