Issue: January/February 2013: Hope and Anxiety

Volume 13 Number 1

Editor’s Introduction: Hope and Anxiety

How does the reality of hope address the deepest anxieties of human beings? This issue explores this question from a variety of perspectives. It seeks to illuminate the intergenerational and gender contours of anxiety as well as its intra-generational manifestations among Baby Boomers and Millennials. It also reflects on this question drawing upon rich biblical […]

Anxiety and Hope in the Lives of Baby Boomers: Beginning a Conversation

​The need for responding to fearful narratives of aging has never been greater. Very large numbers of baby boomers are beginning to retire. As those born between 1946 and 1964 move into their seniority, they are often impacted by negative scripts that can easily lead to heightened anxiety, feelings of meaninglessness, and despair. The task for Lutheran ethics in this (crisis) context is to provide a more complex, faith-filled narrative. To do so, it is important to begin a conversation around how we might best articulate the hope that is ours in Christ as it intersects with the context in which this cohort group is aging.

Marriage and Anxiety: The Effects of Patriarchy on Women’s Self-Worth

In 21st century America, we live in a world in which women have supposedly achieved equality with men. However, despite new emphases on women succeeding in the classroom and at work, many women still feel a lot of anxiety regarding the pressure to get married. This anxiety, coupled with the pressure to be successful in one’s career and the persistent disparities in American society, presents today’s women with a complicated knot of worries our foremothers did not face.

Let Me Google That: A Millennial Reflects on Her Generation

Scripture calls us to aid the poor. Why should that be limited to only the private sphere? Lanoue explores the secular and religious arguments regarding tax reform and how it can help those who truly need it.

An Inquiry into New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year engenders a flurry of soul-searching behavior, earnest plans resolving to change current behaviors, introduce new habits and cease old ones. The practice is so common that the U.S. government even has a web page listing the statistically most popular resolutions, including links to resources that will assist in achieving the new goals. However, as interesting as change is in and of itself, it is incumbent on an ethicist to ask an even more fundamental question about New Year’s resolutions than the rather pragmatic and pedestrian “How?” We are called here to consider the questions “Why?” and “What?” Why should we resolve anything at all? What does a resolution signify within the overall scope of our daily intending and resolving as human beings? And what is a resolution anyway? What does it mean to resolve?​

Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings (Fortress , 2012); Treatise on Good Works (Fortress, 2012)

Ever since the publication of the first edition of Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings in 1989, this one-volume compendium of Luther texts has filled an important need for college or seminary classes focused on the life and work of Luther. In short, the volume has provided the best (and most affordable) access to a wide range of Luther’s theological works that would otherwise require access (by impoverished students!) to the individual volumes of the American Edition of Luther’s Works. Similarly, for anyone interested in sampling Luther’s thought about a variety of issues, or desiring to “get to know” the Reformer directly—letting “Luther speak,” as Timothy Lull suggested in the preface to the first edition—Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings is a gift.

Review: Jesus: A New Understanding of God’s Son (Orbis, 2012)

Joseph Girzone first came to the public’s attention as the writer of simple, allegorical novels about a modern day itinerant carpenter named Joshua living in upstate New York. The difference is the main character is Jesus in modern incarnation instead of an angel on a mission to earth. Girzone’s Joshua was a combination gentle friend to all and mysterious, mystical presence whose touch healed and whose presence seemed continually graced by inexplicable coincidence and miracle. It is not surprising that the Jesus presented in this book bears a striking resemblance to Joshua the carpenter. After his novels became popular, with sales in the millions, Girzone created the Joshua Foundation, “an organization dedicated to making Jesus better known throughout the world” (back cover). This book is a part of that effort​.

Review: Ethics of Hope (Fortress, 2012).

From start to finish one can read Jurgen Moltmann’s Ethics of Hope as a call to action. His ethical expression feels very Lutheran. Like the explanation of the Ten Commandments in Luther’s Small Catechism, Moltmann focuses on what we are to do instead of what we should not do. Ethics in this sense is “the principles of conduct governing a person or group.