Since the Reformation in the sixteenth century, Lutheran traditions have impacted culture and politics in many societies. At the same time Lutheran belief has had an effect on personal faith, morality, and ethics. Modern society, however, is quite different from that at the time of the Reformation.
How should we evaluate Lutheran tradition in today’s Western multicultural and post-Christian society? Is it possible to develop a Lutheran theological position that can be regarded as reasonable in a society that evidences a considerable weakening of the role of Christianity? What are the challenges raised by cultural diversity for a Lutheran theology and ethics? Is it possible to develop a Lutheran identity in a multicultural society, and is there any fruitful Lutheran contribution to the coexistence of different religious and non-religious traditions in the future?
1. Introduction: Remembering the Past – Living the Future
Carl-Henric Grenholm and Göran Gunner
Part One: Justification, Atonement, and Reconciliation
2. Promise and Trust: Lutheran Identity in a Multicultural Society
3. The Experience of Justification
4. Atonement in Theology and a Post-Einsteinian Notion of Time
5. Healing as an Image for the Atonement: A Lutheran Consideration
Cheryl M. Peterson
Part Two: Lutheran Theology and Ethics in a Post-Christian Society
6. Law and Gospel in Lutheran Ethics
7. Outside Paradise: Renegotiating Original Sin in Contemporary Lutheran Theology
8. Lutheran Spiritual Theology in a Post-Christian Society
9. Lutheran Theology and Dialogical Engagement in Post-Christian Society
James M. Childs, Jr
10. Physicality as a New Model for Lutheran Ethics in a Multicultural Global Community
Richard J. Perry, Jr
Part Three: Reformation as a Model for Interpretation of the Present
11. Incarnate vs. Discarnate Protestantism: Martin Luther and the Disembodiment of Faith
Niels Henrik Gregersen
12. Contra Philosophos: The Lutheran Reformation as Critique of the Rationality of Modernity
13. Priesthood of all Believers as Public Opinion: An Unexplored Link between the Lutheran
Reformation and the Enlightenment?
14. Luther’s Interpretation of the Magnificat and Latin American Liberation Theology
15. “Satis est” (CA 7): The Confessional Unity of the Church and the Augsburg Confession Today
Endorsements and Reviews
These contributions testify to a Lutheranism not captured in the past, but actively engaging with contemporary issues in society and culture – a Lutheranism open, self-critical, constructive, and creative. This is a must-read for anybody who wants to see how the Lutheran tradition related to the wider theological dialogue, and what it has to contribute to the ecumenical reflection about the relevance of Christian faith for people of today.
Jan-Olav Henriksen, Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo
This book shows how the Lutheran doctrine of justification, despite its historical location in the sixteenth century – when examined with a self-critical ambition, as this book certainly does – has the capacity of challenging common values and ways of thinking, not least in societies marked by a post-Christian mentality.
Bo Kristian Holm, Aarhus University, Denmark
I heartily recommend this book as a solid primer for those unfamiliar with the current state and trajectory of Lutheran theology – especially those whose context is more Evangelical or Reformed … this work has enlightened me.
Charles Kim, in Theological Book Review, Vol 28, No 1