Editor's Introduction
by Ron Duty
“Vulnerability and Security” was the theme of the 2005 Lutheran Ethicists Gathering last January 5th and 6th in Miami, Florida.
[read introduction]

Introducing Vulerability and Security
Raag Rolfsen, Ulla Schmidt, and Sturla J. Stålsett
In the aftermath of the many international crises during the 1990’s culminating in Kosovo, the Commission on International Affairs of the Church of Norway felt a need to address the issue of legitimate use of power and military force at a theological and ethical level, without losing the concrete experiences and challenges from sight. [read article]

Vulnerability and Security: Current challenges in security policy from an ethical and theological perspective
by Commission on International Affairs in the Church of Norway’s Council on Ecumenical and International Relations
[download manuscript from www.kirken.no]

The National Security Strategy of
the United States of America
prepared for President George W. Bush by the staff of the National Security Council of the United States of America
[download manuscript from www.whitehouse.gov]

Comments on Vulnerability and Security and The National Security Strategy of the United States
H. David Baer
The question I want to raise about Vulnerability and Security is this:  By placing the question about the proper use of political force within the larger framework of vulnerability, has not the document framed the moral issue fundamentally in terms of self-interest?  Additionally, I want to focus on the argument for preemption found in The National Security Strategy. [read article]

Response to the Study prepared by the Commission on International Affairs in the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations, January 2001
by Mary Gaebler
This Study takes as its starting point the conviction that “the vulnerability and defenselessness of humankind are the precondition for its capacity for openness and solidarity.” [read article]

Your Dignity is My Security: Vulnerability and Security Considering the Arab/Muslim/Middle Eastern Perspective
by Ryan LaHurd
I begin with an admission of my personal vulnerability related to this essay.  Having spent most of my life on college and university campuses and knowing how critical an audience of scholarly experts can be, I undertake a topic related to ethics with genuine trepidation.
[read article]

Hope in the Face of the National Security Strategy: Three Readings and Patriotic Publicity
by Gary M. Simpson
He looked straight into my eyes that night and said it.  “America is a nation with a mission, and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs.  We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire"
[read article]

Vulnerability and Security: Threads from a Conversation
by Ron Duty

This report teases out threads from the conversation about vulnerability and security that took place at the 2005 Lutheran Ethicists Gathering around the two documents presented above and responses to them by a number of Lutheran ethicists. [read article]

An Introduction
by Kaari M. Reierson
Executive Editor
[read article]

New! If God Gives Them the Same Gifts, Who are We to Hinder God?
by Walter M. Stuhr
[read article]

No Red Synods/Blue Synods in the ELCA
by Kathryn A. Kleinhans
[read article]

Sex and ‘Church’
by Dennis Bielfeldt
[read article]

A Response to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality
by Christian Scharen, with Paul and Sonja Batalden
[read article]

Response to the Respondents to my Civil Religion Argument
by Robert Benne
I am honored and delighted that five persons of such stature have taken time to respond to my article on civil religion—“Civil Religion—Destructive, Useless, or Beneficial?”  All five responses were helpful, civil, and of high quality.  They are fine demonstrations of the kind of moral discourse at which this journal aims.  I can only hope that my response to these contributions will measure up to their quality. [read article]

Responses to Robert Benne's "The American Civil Religion - Destructive, Useless, or Beneficial?"

by Robert Tuttle
In his essay, Bob Benne offers a spirited defense of the “commonly-shared religious framework” that undergirds, and invites attachment to, the transcendent ideals of American political culture. There is much to admire in Benne’s argument. Though raising an important question, Benne’s argument intertwines two quite distinct strands of the issue, strands that must be disentangled if we are to have serious debate about civil religion. [read article]

by Hans Tiefel

Bob Benne’s questions express a magnanimous and inclusive spirit, and his thesis reminds me of the pervasive openness one finds in Roman Catholic traditions where fundamental human needs and aspirations, reason, culture, communal structures, all have their honored place and legitimacy.  [read article]

by Gilbert Meilaender
Some Lutherans have drawn back because our country's civil religion seems insufficiently religious, others because it seems too religious (and insufficiently secular).  Neither of these strikes me as a very nuanced approach, and that fact inclines me to be sympathetic to Benne's case.  [read article]

by Walter M. Stuhr
Robert Benne’s article on American Civil Religion is timely and important. It comes at a time when the Supreme Court is deliberating the constitutionality of public monuments to the Ten Commandments.  The “alliance” of the presidency of George W. Bush with the Christian Right brings the issue of church and state relations to the fore.
[read article]

The New Freedom of Public Religion
by John Witte, Jr.
The subtitle to Professor Benne’s perceptive article poses the question whether America’s civil religion is “destructive, useless, or beneficial.”  It can be all three. [read article]

The American Civil Religion - Destructive, Useless,
or Beneficial?

by Robert Benne
“Why does the President of the United States insist on ending his speeches with ‘God Bless America?” asked a European friend testily.  “Doesn’t God bless all nations?” she angrily continued.  Furthermore, she complained, this religiously-laden political rhetoric proves that Americans persist in thinking that God is on their side.  Whatever she understood of the American civil religion—which wasn’t much—she certainly didn’t like. [read article]

    Alms and Advocacy: Lutheran Ministry with the Poor
H. George Anderson
I want to tell part of the history of Lutheran Ministry with the poor in the hope that it will help us write a new chapter. The unexpected twists in this otherwise simple story give us hope that we too might be creative in our day as we face the persistent challenge that wealth poses to our Christian solidarity with the poor.
[read article]

The Kenosis of Christ in the Politics of Paul
David E. Fredrickson
The of Christ is usually interpreted as his "self-emptying" in the sense of a voluntary self-limitation by setting aside his divinity with all its powers, privileges, and rights. But also had a closely-related meaning in Paul's world, that of a deep love for the beloved that leads one to melt with longing and desire for them. If the of Christ is seen in this way by Paul, it supports the idea of of the church as a collection of political practices that embody Christ's longing for complete communion with mortals. What follows is prolegomena to this proposal.
[read article]

An Introduction
Interim Editor
by Ron Duty
[read article]

A Community of Character at the Intersections of Life and Death
by William Rodriguez
[read article]

Bishop's Pastoral Letter
on End of Life Decisions
by Bishop Edward R. Benoway
[read article]