Fortress Press

The Forgotten Luther III: Reclaiming a Vision of Global Community

This study book, the third in the Forgotten Luther series, invites congregations, with the help of five prominent church leaders and Luther scholars, to consider the new shape of global mission in today's world.

Against the growing disparity in wealth and the rising tide of economic refugees throughout the world, this book reflects on Luther's largely forgotten social and economic reforms (to overcome poverty, lack of health care, illiteracy, and old-age insecurity) that flowed from the central doctrine of justification by grace through faith. The book is also a call for informed engagement with partner churches in a critical area of ministry that is frequently neglected.

This study book draws global implications from Luther's reforms and from the theology that shaped them. It is informed by ways in which churches in the Global South have moved beyond world-denying forms of pietism to address the systemic causes of hunger, poverty, and injustice. It is addressed to the whole church at a critical time in history as vast threats to the natural world converge with acute economic hardship for hundreds of millions of people. 

Accompanied by videos of lectures and interviews, this study is designed to provide guidance for congregations who want to be actively engaged in the global mission of the church, including ways in which they can both accompany others and be accompanied by others on a common journey. 

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506466910
  • eBook ISBN 9781506466927
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 144
  • Publication Date August 3, 2021


"This book is a call to action to be taken seriously within Lutheran traditions as well as ecumenical and interfaith circles worldwide."

Amos Nascimento, University of Washington

"As a white male from North America, I give thanks to the contributors of The Forgotten Luther III, particularly our Lutheran siblings from the Southern hemisphere, who draw upon both their acute theological training and their lived experience to articulate Martin Luther's clear denunciation of social, economic and institutional evils."

Bishop Rick Jaech, Southwestern Washington Synod, ELCA

"The Forgotten Luther III will start lively conversations about the life and purpose of congregations in our time. To get beyond pandemic and politics, the church needs to wrestle with its identity and mission. These authors will help bring Luther, and congregations that carry his legacy, into step with the global reality of the church today."

The Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, United Lutheran Seminary

"This small, powerful book continues a vital mission: reintroducing Luther to the Lutherans. The writing is thoughtful and persuasive. In the midst of our present messes, the message is that Christian hope can bear fruit both for the churches and for the common good."

The Rev. Richard H. Graham, Retired Bishop, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod

"The Forgotten Luther series retrieves prophetic dimensions of Luther's life work to advocate for socio-economic justice. This volume locates Luther's inextricable connection between justification and justice within a global horizon through analysis by leading theologians from diverse contexts. The Spirit is active to radicalize the Reformation through contemporary engagement with these provocative dimensions of the Lutheran legacy."

Craig L. Nessan, Academic Dean, Wartburg Theological Seminary

"Prickly, earthy, and contentious as he often was, the 'domestication' of Martin Luther by subsequent generations of pious Lutherans has been an odd kind of achievement. This book continues the re-discovery of 'the forgotten Luther,' and restores some of his fiery critique of false images and ideas of godliness and systems that oppressed ordinary people."

The Rev. R. Guy Erwin, Ph.D., president, United Lutheran Seminary

Table of Contents


     Conrad Braaten andPaul Wee

Reclaiminga Visionof Global Community 

     Paul Wee

2.  TheImmigrant Luther: Domestic Servant or Prophet of Social Justice?                                               

     Carter Lindberg

Luther's Theology of the Cross: A Challenge to the Church of Africa and Beyond 

     Ishmael Noko

When Governments and Politicians Fail: citizenship Formation and the Role of the Church 

    Guillermo Hansen

And Though This World withDevilsFilled: Re-Shaping the World in Hope 

    Mitri Raheb

Polarization in our Parishes, societies, and World Today: Can Luther Help? 

    Karen Bloomquist

6. title 

    Raphael Malpica Padilla

Discussion Questions