Issue: June/July 2022 Book Review Issue

Volume 22 Number 3

Editor’s Introduction: Book Review Issue 2022

[1] Our first review asks the timely question: How do we “bring Americans together to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen our democratic republic?”  In I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Courageously Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times, journalist Mónica Guzmán urges us to “harness our innate curiosity to break down […]

I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Courageously Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times by Mónica Guzmán

“To listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” Mark Nepo [1] We humans are on an unprecedented hinge of history. It’s hard to imagine a more apocalyptic accretion of worldwide catastrophes: among them the most lethal pandemic in a century; the dismantling of formerly stalwart democracies; […]

Amending the Christian Story: The Natural Sciences as a Window into Grounded Faith and Sustainable Living by Ron Rude

[1] Years ago, I was speaking with a professor of Church history, when he asked, what if 10,000 years from now Christians are looking back on this period as the early Church? The question immediately challenged the way I had imagined Church history. And the new perspective stuck with me. Reframing is a powerful tool […]

There Is No God and Mary Is His Mother: Rediscovering Religionless Christianity by Thomas Cathcart

[1] Hearkening back to the death of God theologians, Thomas Cathcart writes a provocative book to jar conventional theology. Cathcart—like Thomas J. J. Altizer, William Hamilton, Paul van Buren, and Gabriel Vahanian among others before him—challenges traditional conceptions of a transcendental divine being and the obsolete cosmologies that perpetuate such misunderstandings. With the rapidly increasing […]

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

[1] Regular readers of The Journal of Lutheran Ethics may be surprised to see a review of a novel in this issue.  Most of the reviews in these pages are spent, correctly, I think, on considerations of non-fiction and scholarly books that are concerned more directly with ethics and theology.  Occasionally, however, a novel comes […]

Religion within the Limits of History Alone: Pragmatic Historicism and the Future of Theology by Demian Wheeler

[1] The day I started writing this essay a review of a new musical appeared in the New York Times under the headline, “History Always Gets To Sing the Last Note.”  According to Demian Wheeler in Religion within the Limits of History Alone, history gets to sing the first note as well.  It is history […]