Martin Luther (incl. Luther’s Writings)

A Different Approach to Christian Nationalism

[1] In the glossary of the draft of the proposed ELCA Social Statement on Civic Life and Faith, Christian Nationalism is said to be: A cultural framework that idealizes and advocates fusion of certain Christian views with American civil life.  This nationalistic ideology believes, among other things  that the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired, that […]

Creation Theology and the Climate Crisis

Introduction[1] [1] The imminent climate crisis makes questions regarding our relationship with the creator and the created reality to which we belong extremely important. It presses us to consider what it means to believe in God, the creator, and what it means to be created in the image of our creator. These questions are pressing, […]

The Theology of Holy Communion Empowers Christians to End Sexual Harassment and Assault

Introduction [1] [1] Holy Communion matters for Lutherans. It is central to who we understand ourselves to be as Christians. Lutherans believe and teach that the Lord’s Supper is not simply bread and wine eaten in a reenactment of the Last Supper, but, as Martin Luther teaches in The Large Catechism, “it is bread and […]

For Congregational Discussion: The Lutheran Catechism as a Call Towards Our Ethical Concerns

Mary Lowe’s article asserts that many Christians find reading about Biblical acceptance makes them more accepting of others with differences as well.  She suggests that Lutherans might find a deeper study of Luther’s theology to be similarly liberating.  This issue suggests ways that a look at Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms might help a reader […]

Communion for All: A Queer, Lutheran Sacrament of Wild Welcome

  We must know that we are not only welcome at this meal; we are this meal.…God, great Mother/Father/[Spirit] God, move through the elements prepared today….Break this bread in our hearts, so that we will know the urgency of speaking as queer Christians….Give us the breath and blood of people who can witness the welcome […]

Editor’s Introduction: The Lutheran Catechism as a Call Towards Our Ethical Concerns

[1] As we head towards Reformation Sunday, this issue of JLE presents four articles on how understanding Luther’s teachings calls us to consider our ethical responsibilities. These four articles were research presentations in the “Luther and Religion” seminar within the 14th International Congress for Luther Research held at California Lutheran University in 2022.  I am […]

As We Consider the Witness of the Lutheran Church on Church and State

[1] In my experience as a scholar and teacher of American constitutional law, I have frequently resorted to our Lutheran tradition as a guide for understanding why we place emphasis on, and how we distinctively understand, concepts such as the rule of law and the separation of church and state.  In American constitutional classes, we […]

Book Review: Trinitarian Grace in Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will by Miikka Roukanen

[1] Miikka Roukanen, professor at Nanjing Theological Seminary, argues that Luther’s account of God’s creation of faith in the believer, and subsequent justification and sanctification, is fully Trinitarian in nature.  I want to be clear from the outset that this review cannot do justice to the carefully grounded, and intricate arguments made in the book. […]

Book Review: How Luther Became the Reformer by Christine Helmer

[1] Christine Helmer’s book How Luther Became the Reformer is not a typical history of Martin Luther. At its core, the book is an examination of historical interpretations of Luther. [2] Helmer is a professor of the Humanities and German at Northwestern University. Her areas of study include Martin Luther, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and the Luther […]

Luther Scholarship Under the Conditions of Patriarchy

[1] Martin Luther’s doctorate in theology, earned at the University of Wittenberg on October 19, 1512, granted him, as it did to all who earned the degree, the license to uphold church teaching and preside over disputations by either writing the theses in one’s role as “opponens” or to participate in them as “respondens.” Luther […]