Congregational Discussion Guide: 2020-2021, A Retrospective

For Congregational Dialogue: [1] In this retrospective issue, we are republishing two activities for adult education on these topics.  The first is a group activity from the October 2019 issue on deliberative dialogue. The second is a personal meditative activity from the February 2020 issue on Faith, Reason, and Climate Change.   [2] A Deliberative […]

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: 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, […]

The Gendered Impact of Covid: (Or “How to Covid, Like a Girl”)

[1] We’ve all seen them.  Those oh-so-charming news segments in which the expert is holding forth on international relations and in barges a rogue child.  In the viral video of the BBC interview with Professor Robert Kelly first one then a second child bursts in followed by a frantic woman ushering them back behind the […]

The National Narrative of a Virus

[1] We did it.   We crossed the quarter million mark in numbers of deaths due to Covid 19 in the United States.  And just before Thanksgiving.  Estimates now include being at over four hundred thousand by Inauguration Day.  Someplace in the middle for when Lutheran Social Ethicists gather?[1] [2] With over a hundred and eighty […]

Letter from the ELCA Authentic Diversity Advisory Team

FROM:            ELCA Authentic Diversity Advisory Team TO:                  Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery Journal of Lutheran Ethics, Editor February 18, 2021 Dear Dr. Hockenbery, I write on behalf of the Authentic Diversity Advisory Team, many of whom also served on the task force that developed the Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity which was overwhelmingly adopted by an 855-13 vote […]

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 […]

A Clarifying Response about the ELCA Strategy Towards Authentic Diversity

[1] In its February 2021 Issue, published in Black History Month, during a time when the United States is going through yet another period of racial reckoning, The Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE) published five articles under the collective theme of Racism, Justice, and Mercy. Only one of these was co-written by a woman of […]

Luther, Bonhoeffer, Black Lives Matter, and the Role of the Church1

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, many churches condemned White supremacy and racist violence. Racism is not limited to White supremacy and may be categorized as either motivational, arising from racial animus, or situational, arising from the conditions in which a racial minority finds itself, with a feedback loop whereby one type of racism encourages the other. These two types of racism both require both pastoral and prophetic responses from the church. An appropriate prophetic response can be modeled in the Lutheran tradition

Resolution in Loving Memory of the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols

“No matter what your trials are, or how big your mountain seems; The Lord is there to see you through; To go to all extremes. So if your cross seems hard to bear, and you know not what to do; The One who loves you most of all will be there to see you through. We, members of the Conference of International Black Lutherans, want the Echols family to know that our hearts are with you as we gather to remember the life of our brother and man of faith, the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols.”