Can a Lutheran be sociopolitically radical? Can a radical be theologically and faithfully Lutheran? This book answers yes.
Written by teacher-scholars from five ELCA colleges, Radical Lutherans/Lutheran Radicals follows Martin Luther, Soren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothee Soelle, and others as they sink deep roots in the Lutheran Christian tradition while simultaneously resisting the status quo with their words, their deeds, and sometimes their very lives.
Each chapter shows how the Lutheran theologian returns to the roots of Luther's life and writing and puts them toward radical social and political ends, including critiques of cultured Christianity; resistance to state or market; preferential options for the poor and suffering; deep commitments to peace, justice, and ecological sustainability; and direct nonviolent resistance.
The book highlights theological themes popularized by Luther (justification by grace, two-kingdoms thinking, theology of the cross, and vocation) and then shows how these theological staples--when deeply and creatively retrieved--can inform political protest, intentional living, and other countercultural movements.
The compelling claim throughout is that Luther's theology at its root has resources for radical political participation and social transformation, as exemplified by the writings and lives of these radical Lutherans/Lutheran radicals.