Issue: November 2013: Religion and Violence

Volume 13 Number 7

Editor’s Introduction: Religion and Violence

This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics focuses on violence from several different perspectives. While one article explores the cause of violence as a religious phenomenon, another looks specifically at the Christian tradition. A third article centers on Martin Luther’s theological understanding of violence.

Christianity and Violence: Coming to Grips with the Bloody Threads in the Garment

Daniel Lee explores violence between religious communities in recent years and the Christian view of violence. He draws upon the wise words of peaceful leaders to bring a message of hope and a path to peace.

Is Religion the Cause of Violence?

William Rodriguez asks a scary yet important question: “Is religion the cause of violence?” Rodriguez uses Rene Girard’s assessment of the relationship between religion and violence to approach this controversial topic.

Demons of Violence: Searching for Theological Responses with Luther

Kirsi Stjerna uses Luther’s words to call Lutherans to respond to violence: “Of most importance is that we not stay silent but speak to matters of violence, to war and the other endless forms of violence.”

Review: From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America

John Carlson (an ethicist) and Jonathan Ebel (a historian) have brought together a rich collection of essays examining the intersection of religion and violence in America. An early goal of this book was “to show that September 11th was not the United States’ first experience with religion and violence,” through the expertise of scholars writing from within their own disciplines. They discovered that this multidisciplinary approach also brought “new and compelling insights into the complex historical and moral legacy of the United States.”

Reviews: Blessed Are the Consumers: Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint and Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation

Sallie McFague and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda agree: the world is in trouble and we are to blame. Rising sea levels due to climate change; species extinction; massive inequalities between rich and poor on a global scale; unstable economies predicated on dwindling reserves of petroleum… the list goes on. These two eminent eco-theologians have faced the prospect of environmental catastrophe, but in their newest books – both released from Fortress this year – they bring messages of hope.