The Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE) posted a special issue focused on the response to the current pandemic and quarantine due to COVID-19.
This free publication is published bimonthly online and is dedicated to the “living out the Lutheran tradition of addressing social issues theologically, using the resources of historical, theological, and ethical tradition, biblical interpretation, and social sciences.” It is compiled by the ELCA.
“One goal of the journal is to present and encourage constructive theological thinking at the moment in which it is most needed,” wrote Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth, who edited the special May edition, which can be accessed here.
The issue offers new timely content as well as articles from past JLE issues that provide thoughtful insights on topics relevant to the crisis.
Rev. Aaron Klink kicks off the journal’s coverage with sharing insights that Luther had during the 1527 plague in Wittenberg. A hospice chaplain, he provides some guidelines on assessing ethical obligations while we also may fear for our own lives.
He wrote: “In fearful, anxious times Lutherans cling to Christ’s consoling promises for the living and the dying. We are learning new platforms like Zoom and Facebook to proclaim these promises. Lutherans also value the Sacraments, for in them God is made present to us, for both our comfort and our salvation. We know now better than ever that gathering with fellow Christians allows us to be little Christs to one another in times of anxiety and despair.”
“The internet in many cases, has allowed us to safely hear the proclamation of the Gospel, in our homes. It is not the same as an embodied gathering, but it is enough. That trust empowers our love of neighbor in the stations in which we find ourselves, in government, education, ministry, and health care,” he added.
Other articles in the issue include past pieces on H1N1 pandemic response and another look on virtual presence and faith from Deanna Thompson.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.