Editor’s Introduction

[1] This month is a continuation of the work laid out by Victor Thasiah and Michael Shahan, JLE’s book review editor. The brilliance of this month’s authors and the timeliness of the subject matter I cannot claim for myself. I can only begin in gratitude that Journal of Lutheran Ethics is able to publish fresh, compelling, and profound contributions to the world of Christian ethics.

[2] We are pleased to have the work of Nicholas Wolterstorff gracing (pun intended) the pages of JLE. His essay “Justice as a Memorial” proposes that “…not only is the Eucharist a public memorial of Christ but so also is doing justice.” Taking note of various ways of memorializing, Wolterstorff notes “…it is fitting that Israel’s rendering justice to the vulnerable in its midst be a memorial of its deliverance.” Christians have historically memorialized Christ beyond the Eucharist via art, and Wolterstorff posits a broadening of the concept of memorial to include rendering justice to the vulnerable.

[3] This month William Schweiker honors JLE by giving of his time to conduct an interview on his theological humanism project. After explaining the meaning and purpose of theological humanism, he concludes “But we also need to claim freedom within religion, that is, the possibility and responsibility freely to live one’s faith in a humane way.”

[4] Three eminent reviewers, Dennis Beilfeldt, Paul Sponheim, and Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, tackle the English translation of Oswald Bayer’s Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation. Wilson appreciates Bayer’s attention to the doctrine of creation in particular, delves into his theodicy, and finds his appropriation of Law the weak point of his work. Sponheim also appreciates Bayer’s attention to a doctrine of creation. Along with Bielfeldt, he delves into John Austin’s work on performative language of promissio. Beilfeldt, in his review, probes Bayer’s appropriation of the authority of Scripture for its weakness. Each of the three reviewers offers a significant perspective on Bayer’s work. Thanks to Michael Shahan for arranging this series.

[5] Former JLE intern Libbi Williams debuts with an article on competing narratives. Reflecting on her own experience of narratives of Islam in a post-9/11 world, she describes a life-changing, narrative-challenging presentation by Julia Bacha which created the cognitive dissonance necessary to change her understanding. Williams challenges all of us to be willing to risk our own cognitive dissonance.

Kaari Reierson

Kaari Reierson is the founding editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics and is the Chair of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics Advisory Council.