“Lutheran Interpretations of Contemporary Legal Issues:
So Much Good Fruit”
October 27-28, 2016
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
New Brighton, Minnesota
How do Lutherans interpret secular law? Significant interest and growth in scholarship exploring the influence of various religious traditions upon interpretation of secular law has occurred in recent decades. Lutheran legal scholars and theologians will weigh in on these conversations in this inter-disciplinary conference. They will explore how Lutheran theological insights and interpretive assumptions can be used to develop jurisprudence and specific solutions to legal issues in which there is strong conflict at the local, national, and international levels. Responses to the presenters by people from legal, other Christian, and non-Christian backgrounds will put Lutheran perspectives on law in a context that is at once legal, ecumenical, and inter-faith. Some issues that will be addressed include family law, rape, lawyers’ professional duties and moral obligations in society, the religion clauses of the First Amendment, conscientious objection beyond military service, theft and the Ten Commandments, medical professional responsibilities and the law of medical trials, torture, extraordinary rendition, just war and international law, Native American property and land claims, and more.
“For any ordinance and work of God constantly produces so much great fruit that it cannot be counted or comprehended. For one thing, the jurist with his law book (by God’s ordinance) maintains and helps to further the whole worldly government. . . . By it you receive protection of life and limb against neighbors, enemies, and murderers. Then, too, you have peace and tranquility for your wife, daughter, son, house and home, servants, money, property, lands, and everything that you have. For all these must be preserved by wisdom and law. . . . What a great thing this is can never by fully told in any book. . . .”
-Martin Luther, Sermon on Keeping Children in School, 1530