Martin Luther (incl. Luther’s Writings)

Reimagining Vocation: Queer, Lutheran, with Room for All

“We do theology because we want to collaborate fundamentally in bringing about a different kind of world in the here-and-now.”   –M. Shawn Copeland   Vocations and Challenges to Vocation  [1] Can you recall a time when you felt truly welcomed and accepted? Can you remember a moment when you brought the fullness of yourself to […]

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 […]

Lessons Learned in Teaching Luther in a Pandemic

[1] In Spring 2021, I taught a course on Lutheranism for the first time in a few years. As with probably every single other institution of higher education, Midland University, where I have taught since 2008, was responding to the COVID-19 epidemic and to the challenges it presented to our students, staff, and faculty.  We […]

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 […]

Church as Counter-Image to Brutality

Stunning images and stories of police brutality have rocked the United States in recent months. These images and stories—of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others—have moved the American people profoundly, but in different directions. What can the church do or say that might be meaningful in this moment? This essay argues that the church must realize its call to be a counter-image to human brutality. This essay draws especially upon Martin Luther, but with the intention of connecting Luther to a broader ecumenical tradition.

An Economic Reading of Luther on the Eucharist, or How a Sacramental Economics Made Matter Matter in New Ways

“Our words and practices, including the ways we celebrate Eucharist and the public policies we support and advocate for, have consequences for our broader relationships with matter. If the finite bears the infinite (finitum capax infiniti), then attention to the finite cannot be fleeting or unjust: matter matters. To state my claim even more strongly: violence against the finite is to build the cross anew. Following Schweitzer, there may be tragic choices we must make where “life-willing-life” cannot simply be left to be. Nonviolence is norm but not absolute. But the violence of economic inequality of the scope evident in contemporary U.S. society is contrary to the spirit of the Eucharist. U.S. inequality does real harm to the real presence of Christ. Indeed, global economic inequality, paired with climate change denial, may–if the Earth’s climate changes as rapidly as some scientists now predict, lead to a world with no bread, no wine, no body, no blood.”

Freedom in Reading the Scripture

Martin Luther wore many hats, but ultimately he was a teacher of the Bible. However, this work was not purely academic, nor was it easy. Rivera traces Luther’s intellectual and spiritual journey in Biblical exegesis and the freedom he found therein.

Martin Luther and the Visual Arts

When people think of the period of the Reformation, they often picture the destruction of religious art. However, the Lutheran tradition did not take that path. Hoeferkamp Segovia examines Martin Luther’s theological relationship with religious art and explores what it means for us 500 years later.

Review: Martin Luther and the Called Life (Fortress Press, 2016)

Tranvik believes one of the problems identified by Luther 500 years ago—that Christians too often regard Gospel faith and life in the world as separate realms of human endeavor, neither interacting with, nor informing one another—is still with us. He believes that the separation of faith from everyday life is harmful both to faith and to the world in which Christians live, and that Luther’s theology of vocation provides a vital alternative. Finally, Tranvik believes that telling the story of how Luther lived out his solution to this problem will be helpful to readers in the twenty-first century.

Review: A Conversation with Martin Marty about His New Book

[Originally published in JLE July/August 2016] [1] Some weeks ago the Journal of Lutheran Ethics was contacted by the publisher about our interest in reviewing Martin E. Marty’s new book, October 31 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World, published this year by Paraclete Press of Brewster, Massachusetts. It was further suggested […]