Race and the Lutheran Pastor
Discussions about race and power structures permeate today’s society. Because of their sensitive and sometimes controversial nature, these discussions are often avoided in the Christian church. Recently, however, scholars have begun to critique Christian churches as places where racial divide and oppression are perpetuated, in part because of this silence. This thesis seeks primarily to listen to, analyze, and learn from the experiences of African Americans as they relate to white pastors in WELS churches. The results of this research underscore the importance of these discussions and the necessity of careful communication between the pastor and his members regarding race. This study also provides much-needed balance by placing race within a broader context of social and spiritual factors.