Issue: May 2005

Volume 5 Number 5

Your Dignity is My Security: Vulnerability and Security Considering the Arab/Muslim/Middle Eastern Perspective

[1] I begin with an admission of my personal vulnerability related to this essay. Having spent most of my life on college and university campuses and knowing how critical an audience of scholarly experts can be, I undertake a topic related to ethics with genuine trepidation. I am a non-professional addressing readers who are likely […]

Alms and Advocacy: Lutheran Ministry with the Poor

[1] It is a pleasure to be a part of this convocation dealing with “The Church and Public Witness.” This has long been an issue for Lutherans, stemming from its history in Europe and, to a lesser degree, in the United States. [2] Today I want to tell part of that history in the hope […]

Comments on Vulnerability and Security and The National Security Strategy of the United States

[1] I have two sets of disparate comments on the two documents we are considering, which I will try in some way to relate to each other. [2] The question I want to raise about Vulnerability and Security is this: By placing the question about the proper use of political force within the larger framework […]

Hope in the Face of The National Security Strategy: Three Readings and Patriotic Publicity

[1] He looked straight into my eyes that night and said it. “America is a nation with a mission, and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire”-2004 State of the Union Address.1 That President Bush had to tender this assurance eyeball to eyeball to […]

Response to Robert Benne on Civil Religion

[1] In his essay, “American Civil Religion: Destructive, Useless, or Beneficial?” (JLE April 2005), Bob Benne offers a spirited defense of the “commonly-shared religious framework” that undergirds, and invites attachment to, the transcendent ideals of American political culture. There is much to admire in Benne’s argument; foremost is his implicit claim that liberal polities need […]

Response to the Respondents to my Civil Religion Argument

[1] I am honored and delighted that five persons of such stature have taken time to respond to my article on civil religion-“Civil Religion-Destructive, Useless, or Beneficial?” All five responses were helpful, civil, and of high quality. They are fine demonstrations of the kind of moral discourse at which this journal aims. I can only […]

Vulnerability and Security: Threads from a Conversation

1] Vulnerability and Security-the theme of the 2005 Lutheran Ethicists Gathering in Miami-focused on nation-states and other actors in international affairs. Three major events and probably several minor ones helped frame this discussion. The major events (from an American perspective) were the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on the United States of September 11, 2001, the […]

Response to the Study prepared by the Commission on International Affairs in the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations, January 2001

[1] This Study takes as its starting point the conviction that “the vulnerability and defenselessness of humankind are the precondition for its capacity for openness and solidarity.” The study also identifies and rejects a second concept of vulnerability, which the authors apparently hope to defeat by way of reasoned argument. Insofar as they proceed as […]

Review of Sharon D. Welch’s After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace

[1] One of Sharon Welch’s gifts is to take a common ethical question and discuss it in ways few have imagined. She transforms questions into prisms which invite us to turn them in the light and meditate on what the resulting refractions might mean for our moral vision. In After Empire, Welch approaches an issue […]

Introducing Vulnerability and Security

[1] In the aftermath of the many international crises during the 1990s culminating in Kosovo, the Commission on International Affairs of the Church of Norway felt a need to address the issue of legitimate use of power and military force at a theological and ethical level, without losing the concrete experiences and challenges from sight. […]