Case Studies

Engaging Others, Knowing Ourselves: A Lutheran Calling in a Multi-Religious World

A Resource for 2016 Synod Assembly Workshops and Beyond

We live and work in an increasingly multi-ethnic and interreligious context. In our daily encounter with diversity, what are the theological and practical challenges we face? What from our Lutheran tradition is instructive for understanding our inter-religious calling and living out our commitments? In short, what does it mean to be Lutheran in a multi-religious world?

In late 2012, the ELCA Consultative Panels on Lutheran-Jewish and Lutheran-Muslim Relations undertook an inter-religious case studies project to explore these questions. A call for submissions went out inviting real-life cases of inter-religious engagement in ELCA ministry contexts. Over 50 case studies were received and woven together with historical analysis, practical tips, and theological reflection, culminating in a book project that will be published by Lutheran University Press in early spring 2016. This book will be a contribution toward the 500th observance of the Reformation, and resource for ELCA-wide study, dialogue, and reflection.

A workshop template based on the key questions in the book will be made available by year-end for use at synod assemblies, convocations, theological conferences, rostered and lay leader gatherings, and other educational settings in 2016 and beyond. Churchwide staff, LEIRN representatives, and the authors of the book are willing resource people to lead such workshops. Please contact your Synod Bishop/Assembly Planning Team to consider participating and what you need to support this work. Contact your LEIRN rep or Kathryn Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop, Executive, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations for more information., 773-380-2613.

Book Outline

Engaging Others, Knowing Ourselves: A Lutheran Calling in a Multi-Religious World

Foreword: Elizabeth Eaton

Preface: Esther Menn and Peg Schultz-Akerson

Introduction: Darrell Jodock

Chapter 1: Mark Swanson | New Realities, New Thinking Since 1990

Chapter 2: Carol Schersten LaHurd | Guidelines for Interacting in the Real World

Chapter 3: Jonathan Brockopp | Exploring the Uncomfortable Questions: The Experience of Inter-Religious Work

Chapter 4: J. Paul Rajashekar | Our God and Their God: A Relational Theology of Religious Plurality

Conclusion: Darrell Jodock