For Congregational Discussion: The Lutheran Catechism as a Call Towards Our Ethical Concerns

Mary Lowe’s article asserts that many Christians find reading about Biblical acceptance makes them more accepting of others with differences as well.  She suggests that Lutherans might find a deeper study of Luther’s theology to be similarly liberating.  This issue suggests ways that a look at Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms might help a reader reframe their understanding of their place in the world.  The following discussion questions are designed for small groups to consider the ideas in the essays and how these ideas have an impact “for you.”


  1. When (if ever) have you looked at the Small or Large Catechism? What do you remember as meaningful to you?
  2. Mary Lowe speaks of Luther’s interpretation of the Lord Supper as a place of deep communio (fellowship in the mystical body of Christ). In what way do you find the quotes from Luther in paragraph 12 of Lowe’s essay to express a new to you idea about Communion? Do you find this in the Eucharist a “treasure” (paragraph 17) that helps resist loneliness, advances equity, and empowers mutually-consuming fellowship?  Share experiences of this.
  3. As you consider the Lutheran theology of the Eucharist, how did Mary Streufert’s essay open you to think about how we are called to respect each other’s bodies and autonomy? In what ways do you think that Lutheran faith demands behavior of love without assault?
  4. As you consider the Lutheran theology of creation, consider the view of Arnfríður Guðmundsdóttir that God is with us, deeply immersed in our created reality and that creation is like a baby in its mother’s womb where it enjoys shelter and nourishment. Consider and share your responses to these questions:
    • What does it mean to believe in God, the creator of heaven and earth?
    • Who is my neighbor within creation?
    • What is my responsibility, as created in the image of God?
    • What can I do about the climate crisis?
  1. In reading Deanna Thompson’s discussion of how to discuss faith with those who consider themselves not religious, what points most strike you?



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.