For Congregational Discussion: Addressing the Sin of Child Abuse

[1] This issue of JLE gives congregations an opportunity to host two kinds of adult education discussion.  The first, is to consider the possibility of non-violent parenting.  Reading Kathleen Gallagher Elkin’s essays on the Household Codes of Ephesians, participants might consider what it would mean to rethink the way we expect the use of force in the education of children. Rarely today do we allow corporal punishment by teachers for students, why do we continue to allow (and even expect) the use of physical force by parents for children?  What other practices might we use?  What can churches do to teach these non-violent practices?

[2] The second kind of discussion worth holding is one in which congregations consider how they might consider the needs of all children.  Breaking free from the model that parents make choices for their families alone, congregations can consider how they might support all children.  What practices in the church might better serve children and might better protect the children in our societies?


Jennifer Hockenbery

Jennifer Hockenbery serves as Editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics .  She is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Humanities at St Norbert College. She attends Grace Lutheran Church in Green Bay, WI.