Issue: September 2010: Liturgical Ethics

Volume 10 Number 9

Editor’s Comments – Liturgical Ethics

[1] Melinda Quivik poses the question to us in her essay: How do we know what to do? Christians look to the liturgy, the work of its people, to find the answers. Confession, praise, prayer, Word, sacrament, and blessing form us even as we decide what musical setting to use and choose (or do not […]

Editor’s Comments – Preaching the Law

[1] Lately, JLE’s editors have been dreaming up ways of helping parish pastors do their work. This month begins a three-part series related to liturgy, the first of which is on the theme of “Preaching the Law.” Here one might ask the obvious question — why start with preaching the Law? [2] The answer, gentle […]

Recognizing the Other in Liturgical Acts: Religious Pluralism and Eucharist

[1] A major difficulty facing contemporary life is the misrecognition of persons. This is the social pathology whereby we can improperly recognize the religious other and thereby do violence to another.1 Misrecognition denotes a variety of processes. In general, it marks the way that a person can ignore another, treat a person as a thing […]

Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System

[1] In 2007, over 7.3 million people in the United States were under some form of correctional supervision, including federal and state prison inmates (1.6 million), jail inmates (almost 800,000), those on probation (over 4 million), and those on parole (about 800,000).[1] This means that 1 in every 31 adults in the United States is […]

Liturgical Practice as the Model for Justice

A liturgy of Christians is nothing less than the way a redeemed world is, so to speak, done.1 [1] At the January 2001 annual meeting of the North American Academy of Worship, Vice-President Gabe Huck’s address laid out the importance of worship for learning the ways of a just society. He told of a seven […]

Theological Themes in Criminal Justice

[1] As one of the members of the recently constituted task force for building a social statement on Criminal Justice for the ELCA, I have been asked to assemble a few key theological themes related to that topic. The following essay, then, is intended neither to break new ground in significant measure nor to sum […]

Midwives of Word and Sacrament

[1] The currently commended worship resource in the ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, describes the pattern for the weekly gathering of believers around word and sacrament centered in God’s action: “The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God. God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song. God feeds us with the […]

Retributive Justice: A Penitential Pedagogy

[1] The ancient and still widespread conception of justice as retributive, Desmond Tutu, Howard Zehr, Christopher Marshall, and others have argued, needs to be replaced by an emphasis on the themes of forgiveness and restoration developed in Jesus’ ethic of love and reconciliation.[1] Many theologians have begun to defend versions of what is now widely […]

Branded: Preaching the Law (and Sex) to Youth

[1] In Galatians, Paul gives us an impassioned lesson on law and bodies. I was preparing a sermon on Galatians when I was asked to write this piece about preaching the law to youth, especially in regards to forming sexual ethics in youth. I offer here that the “brands” of Christ, invoked by Paul in […]

The Jebeliya: Reflections on Development

1] This past May, six students and I experienced some Middle Eastern “development” in the raw.1 Under a vividly blue, sheltering, desert sky, we worked with local residents to build a small dam not far from Mt. Sinai. All was done by camel and by hand — carrying boulders, scooping sand, mixing mortar, and carrying […]

Prolific Consumption of Tech Goods Harms People and the Environment

Abstract In this article I examine the harmful conditions present in the production and disposal of consumer tech goods destined for, and used by, United States citizens (who are predominately Christians). The analysis relies on Delores Williams’ womanist theology, as Williams requires that theology take seriously the oppression of others and calls theologians, and the […]

The Return of Eschatological Economics [1]

The Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1–13) [1] Easy parables are all alike; every difficult parable is difficult in its own way. In the case of the unjust steward, much of the difficulty lies in trying to distinguish what precisely is praiseworthy in the unjust steward’s actions. The traditional interpretation has been that the […]

Gustaf Wingren on the Christian Life

1] The year 2010 marks the centennial of the birth of the Swedish theologian Gustaf Wingren, who died in 2000. For nearly all his academic career Wingren taught Christian theology at the University of Lund. Between 1940 and 1980 he published numerous books and articles that were influential (and often controversial) not only in Scandinavia […]