Violence (including gun issues, domestic violence, etc)

Editor’s Introduction: Guns, Violence, Security in the U.S.: What Might the ELCA Say Now?

[1] The April issue of JLE publishes the papers and proceedings from The Lutheran Ethicists’ Network Gathering that was held in January. The conference topic in 2023 was “Guns, Violence, Security in the U.S.: What Might the ELCA Say Now?” [2] This issue is released the same week as the mass shooting at The Covenant […]

From Controlling Guns to Making Peace: An Assessment of ELCA Social Policy and Public Witness

American gun violence today [1] On an average day, gunshots injure more than 300 Americans. 200 survive while more than 100 perish. In 2021, 47,000 Americans died from guns, an increase of 44% over the last decade. This loss exceeds record highs in the 1990s, although death rates today remain slightly lower. Males account for […]

Understanding and Misunderstanding American Gun Culture and Violence

INTRODUCTION [1] The United States of America is exceptional in many ways. This includes the fact that there are more guns (c. 400 million) than people in the country (332 million) and that we have more gun violence than other high-income nations. Many draw a clear line between more guns and more gun violence. I […]

Notes from the Dialogue: What Can the ELCA Say or Do about Gun Violence Now?

As indicated in the editor’s introduction, this submission to the April 2023 issue provides readers with a snapshot of themes and content reported from the break-out group discussion session at the January 2023 Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering.  This informal summary was compiled by Rev. Rebecca Nin​​ke and Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery; it does not represent official minutes […]

Review: The Violence of the Biblical God: Canonical Narrative and Christian Faith by L. Daniel Hawk

[1] In a “Letters” response to an appraisal of this book, author Daniel Hawk writes: “The review reveals that I missed the bar, and missed it considerably in some instances…I therefore find the critique painfully illuminating and appreciate [Shai Held’s] pressing it with all due force” (Christian Century, September 11, 2019, p. 6).  The reviewer’s […]

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, […]

Editor’s Introduction: Gun Violence and Childhood Trauma

[1] “The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.  They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11: […]

Congregational Discussion Questions: Gun Violence and Childhood Trauma

​Because this issue centers around the questions of trauma and childhood, readers might consider engaging high school and middle school youth groups in their study and discussions of these issues.  These conversations might need to be done in virtual formats or on discussion boards during the pandemic. Questions for adults to ask older children: What […]

The Messianic Reign in Isaiah 11:1-10: A Message to Foster Children Post-Traumatic Growth

Introduction [1]   Just as warfare was a cultural problem in ancient Israel, traumatizing children and adults, gun violence is a cultural problem in the United States. The impact of gun violence on children and adolescents is not only burdensome but can also be disastrous. Guns are not the only means to perpetrate harm but “the significance of gun […]

Marching for Our Lives on the Road to Jericho

Introduction [1] Gun violence and its trauma have reached epidemic proportions. The term epidemic in this instance is both a public health appraisal of the impact of gun violence as well as a metaphor that might spark the civic imagination toward a more effective response. The metaphor is apt in a number of ways: it highlights the […]