Welcome Rev. Dr. Santos
With this issue we welcome the Rev. Dr. Carmelo Santos as interim editor of the Journal for Lutheran Ethics. Rev. Dr. Santos teaches at Georgetown University on the intersections between Cognitive Science and Theology. He has also served as parish pastor and as a consultant for Hispanic/Latino/a Ministry with the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod, and as a member of the ELCA Task Force on Genetics. He received his Ph.D. in Religion and Science from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Until Dr. James Echols returns from a leave as editor, please direct any editorial inquiries regarding JLE to Rev. Dr. Santos at: email@example.com.
by Carmelo Santos, Interim Editor
The Despair of the Called by Kurt Lammi
When a layperson feels the absence of God in their life, they go to their pastor for guidance. However, what should a pastor do when they have the same experience? Lammi lifts up the examples of Mother Theresa, Martin Luther, and Augustine to demonstrate that this experience has happened to many faith leaders throughout history. Their experiences of living with and through doubt, as well as faith, provide a model for us all.
The Absence of God as Opportunity for Personal and Social Transformation by Harlan Frank Showers
As Kurt Lammi demonstrates, feeling the absence of God in one's life does not automatically make a person a bad pastor or a bad Christian. Showers goes one step further to explore what techniques a person can try to bring about a renewed awareness of God's presence in their lives. He particularly focuses on Bernard of Clairvaux's four stages of loving God, which Showers illustrates through an image of a "grace spiral." For Showers, what may begin as a frightening experience can open a door to a deeper relationship with God.
Beyond Apathy: A Theology for Bystanders by Elisabeth Vasko
Review by Donald G. Luck
By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile by Robert P. Hoch
Review by Clint Schnekloth
Robert Hoch worries that the church has spiritualized exile and disembodied it. Turning exile into metaphor, real exile, the exile of deported, shackled and tortured bodies and suffering communities, loses a grip on the liturgical and ethical practice of the church. Hoch writes this book as an invitation to return to understandings of church in exile in the bodily sense, real live worshipping communities that live literally on the borderlands of our culture. Hoch is very aware how easily such a work of theology might slip back into spiritualization, so he grounds the text in ethnographic research, offering multiple chapters on literal communities of exile.
© March 2015
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 15, Issue 3