Issue: April/May 2020: Lutheran Theology and the Relationship between Church and State

Volume 20 Number 2

Editor’s Introduction: Lutheran Theology and the Relationship between Church and State

[1] If it is true that many people consider it impolite to talk publically about religion or politics, then perhaps no topic is going to be more improper to discuss than the topic of the proper relationship of church and state. Yet, both articles in this issue all call Lutherans to talk publically about their […]

Book Editor’s Introduction

This issue is published at a time when individuals, families, and communities are experiencing the upending of daily life.  COVID-19 dominates our consciousness as we grapple with its implications for  health, economics and social relations.   These book reviews may offer a brief respite.  They consider big picture theological questions of beauty and creation.  Diane Yeager […]

For Congregational Discussion: Lutheran Theology and the Relationship between Church and State

[1] The Journal of Lutheran Ethics hopes to provide reading material to stimulate thinking and conversation among academics, clergy, and laity. To this end, this section of JLE encourages constructive discussion within congregations about the topics discussed in JLE.  Consider using this section in formal adult education classes or in informal small group discussions.  The […]

A Sketch of Luther’s Political Theology on the Question of Church and State with Reflections concerning the Current Responsibility of the Church in Society

[1] Luther strengthened drastically the role of the individual over the institutions of church and state. This was because Luther located the kingdom of God in each individual’s inner soul, so that the authority of Catholic Church might rapidly decline and that state power could be desacralized. Securing independent interiority, individuals were given opportunity to […]

Faith-based Advocacy with Today’s United States Government: Summary at Lutheran Ethicists Gathering 2020

[1] Lutherans can participate in the governing structures as naturally and faithfully as they make use of God’s other good gifts. This summation of Article XVI of the Augsburg Confession (AC) stands in contrast to the views of other protestant groups of the time, some who condemned civic participation as incompatible with the Christian life while […]

Review: Martin Luther’s Theology of Beauty: A Reappraisal, by Mark C. Mattes

[1] The “reappraisal” promised in the subtitle of this book is most obviously a reappraisal of Luther’s views concerning beauty.  Mark Mattes intends to establish that Luther is neither a “great foe of beauty” (1) nor the architect of the “disenchantment” of material reality (13).  The author’s larger objective, however, is to deploy Luther’s theology […]

Review: Christ of the Celts, by J. Philip Newell

[1]  J. Philip Newell’s book, Christ of the Celts is not a new book but its endorsement of Celtic Christianity can remind us that “the matter of creation is a holy and living energy born from the hidden depths of God.” (xiv)  At the center of his argument is the conviction rooted in Celtic Christianity that […]