Journal of Lutheran Ethics Issue Index February 2016: Facing Climate Change

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Editor's Introduction

Carmelo Santos

Carmelo Santos,  Interim Editor
The prognosis for our planet is deeply troubling. Already we are witnessing such drastic events as roads melting and people dying under the scorching heat of the summer, droughts killing crops and drying up streams and other sources of potable water, monster storms relentlessly buffeting islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and blizzards dropping record breaking amounts of snow through out the North American continent. Things are not looking good for the prospects of life as we know it, and especially human life, in this blue planet that we call home. What is the church called to do in the midst of such overwhelming circumstances? Is there a word of hope, of credible hope, that the church can speak to our dying world?​ ​ Read More​.

Facing Climate Change

Dan Lee

Pastoral Care and Ecological Devastation: Un-Interpreting the Silence
   by Robert Saler
Climate change has already begun changing the world as we know it--and it is hitting the poor and marginalized the hardest.  What is a pastoral response to those working against climate change and those affected by it?  Saler explores how as Christians we have the ability to hold onto hope while still naming and experiencing pain.  Claims of hope should not muffle shouts of pain, nor should pain eclipse the knowledge that God will bring about a new heaven and earth.

 Kirsi Stjerna

May 17th, 2015. Commencement Speech by Archbishop Antje Jackelén at Lutheran School of Theology Chicago​
    by  Antje Jackelén
Archbishop Antje Jackelén addressed the Class of 2015 at the Lutheran Schol of Theology Chicago at their commencment.  She notes that when Jesus prayed for the apostles to unite and protect them as they are out in the world.  Jesus would not take us away from the world: we are invited into it to share the joy we have in Christ.  Climate change will test our ability to hope and to care for our neighbor. Faith leaders need to be at the forefront of this movement that spans all borders.



Book Reviews

From Jeremiad to Jihad

Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance by Reggie L. Williams.
   Review by Kevin Dudley
The work captures a time period leading up to and including the church resistance movement in Germany, prior to Bonhoeffer’s arrest in 1943 and subsequent death in 1945. During his year of study in America, Bonhoeffer served first as visitor and later as a lay leader with the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Tapping into the richness of the African-American religious and cultural experience and its often diminished and disconnected formative impact on modern theological systems, Williams provides an insightful offering to theology and ethics today, both from an historical and sociological concern. 

Laura Hartman  

A Child Shall Lead Them: Martin Luther King by Rufus J. Burrow.
   Review by James R. Thomas

Rufus Burrow Jr.’s A Child Shall Lead Them is about the courage and contributions made by black children and youth, and some whites (282), in the struggle for civil and human rights in the United States. We see in this narrative how black children, youth and others aided the efforts of Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders. Burrow spotlights an understudied but critically important part of U.S. history. It is an inspiring story of young people coming of age in a world where racial terror was directed toward blacks, particularly in states across the South. Black youth made contributions through bus boycotts, freedom rides, marches, and in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. Brown points out that the terror inflicted upon blacks during this era was not merely physical and mental, but also political. Martin Luther King Jr. was aware of the contributions of black children and youth, and he acknowledge the concerns of the children, how they were affected by the struggle, and their expectations for the future (51).  He welcomed their contributions.
Articles published in the journal reflect the perspectives and thoughts of their authors and not necessarily the theological, ethical, or social stances of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.​

© February 2016
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 16, Issue 2