Journal of Lutheran Issue Index May 2017: Economics and Sanctification

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Editor's Introduction


Carmelo Santos, Editor
The two articles in this issue of JLE are very different from each other. The first article comes from the pen of Ted Peters, distinguished Research Professor of Systematic Theology (and Religion and Science) at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union. Different from his past contributions to the Journal in this article, he engages the question of economism. He follows closely the work of his colleague, Richard Norgaard, who has articulated an alternative economic proposal that puts ecological concerns over market economic interest. With the help of Langdon Gilkey’s hermeneutics Peters reads economism as the structuring myth of contemporary society and calls for (and models) a thorough criticism of its crypto-theological underpinning.    Read more.




De-Mythologizing the Myth of Economism
by Ted Peters

Economism is a myth that requires demythologizing. Economist and ecologist Richard Norgaard insightfully describes economism as a secular religion at whose altar American society and many other societies worship. Economism is the free-market ideology that has so imprisoned the American mind that it can no longer address the urgent matter of climate change. Economism is an idolatrous religion that is leading the planet to destruction. This article augments Norgaard's treatment of economism by calling it a myth and then offering a prophetic critique in the form of demythologizing, or better, demythicizing. Only by demythologizing the myth of economism can the church speak to the larger society's responsibility to care for the poor and the planet in light of a vision of the common good. 


by Bradley B. Burroughs 

Taken from a lecture delivered to a meeting of Lutheran and Wesleyan ethicists, Burroughs' article explores how and why Lutheran and Methodist understandings of moral transformation differ. Burroughs skillfully analyzes Luther and Wesley's writings, along with theologians of their traditions who have been influenced from both. With this laid out, he then addresses the question, "What do these differences mean for us today?


Book Reviews

From Jeremiad to Jihad                  

Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things that Matter by Peter Singer

Review by Bruce Wollenberg

Utilitarianism, the pragmatic philosophy developed by Jeremy Bentham (d. 1832) and John Stuart Mill (d. 1873) views actions as good or moral that conduce to human happiness and as bad or immoral those that do not.  Its critics sometimes argue that justice is more important than individual freedom to pursue one’s bliss.  Peter Singer is having none of it.  The quest for justice, especially on behalf of the poor, sick and voiceless for him is an integral part of a life that is consequential, meaningful and fulfilling and, yes, happy and this book is a testament to that conviction.

Turnerx100.jpg Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger

Review by Aaron Fuller

It is a well-known statistic that less than one percent of our nation’s population serves in all the branches of our military.  According to 2014 census data collected by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, about 7.3 percent of the U.S. population have prior military experience of any kind. As a nation that has been in a constant state of war over the last 15 years and in light of overly-dramatized movies and a nearly-cultish fascination with special operation forces culture, do we really have an awareness and realistic understanding of what currently serving military service members, veterans, and their families experience? 

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.​

© May 2017
​Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 17, Issue 3



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