About JLE

Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE) is a free, bimonthly, ecclesial online publication living out the Lutheran tradition of addressing social issues theologically, using the resources of historical, theological, and ethical tradition, biblical interpretation, and social sciences.

A bridge between the academic study of Christianity and the contemporary life of the Church, JLE is a meeting place for scholars and professors, seminary and university students, pastors and bishops, and theologically informed lay persons, advocates, and activists. JLE is updated bimonthly, and JLE readers can sign up to receive notice of updates.

JLE offers scholarship, resources, and dialogue. It publishes original articles and makes important, previously published contributions to Lutheran ethics available electronically. Among its resources are brief opinion pieces on contemporary issues, book reviews, and longer scholarly works.

Christian ethics approaches the moral life from within the life of faith. Lutheran ethics is Christian ethics marked by the tradition connected to Martin Luther’s contribution to the sixteenth-century Reformation. This living tradition understands the life of the baptized as one lived in grateful response to God’s love for sinners revealed in Jesus Christ. The gift of faith in the Gospel frees believers to a new way of life in God’s world in which faith is active in love and love does justice. JLE attends to what Lutheran ethics shares with and can learn from other Christian traditions as well as the distinctive concerns and contributions Lutheran ethics brings to the ongoing, ecumenical conversation about the moral life.

JLE views the scope of Lutheran ethics broadly. The scope embraces foundational questions and current social issues; personal and public dimensions of the moral life; domestic and global issues; and individual and corporate responsibilities — in sum, the concerns of both church and society. It explores biblical, theological, and historical foundations and orientations for the church’s social witness and its members’ vocations (living out the Christian calling as family member, citizen, worker, and in the church as pastor and lay).

JLE is published by the Theological Discernment Team in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as part of the studies function of their work. It operates out of the ELCA’s confessional commitments and seeks to enhance this church’s life and mission in society by offering a forum to clarify, deepen, and enliven Lutheran ethics. It contributes to the ELCA by promoting reasonable and constructive dialogue between faithful people, aspiring to speak in love while seeking understanding.

JLE reflects the ELCA’s ecumenical commitments and its participation in a worldwide Lutheran communion, welcoming use by and contributions from persons in other Christian traditions around the globe. It also invites persons from other religious and secular traditions to join the discussion.

The Theological Discernment Team maintains web pages​ dedicated to ELCA social statements, messages, social policy resolutions, as well as studies on social issues. JLE offers particular online opportunities to contemplate these social statements, messages, social policy resolutions, and studies. It should be noted that the views expressed by individual contributors to JLE are those of the authors, not of the ELCA.

JLE solicits original articles and welcomes unsolicited contributions. Click here for more information on what and how to contribute to JLE. The Team welcomes ideas for what should be in the journal.