In 1987, Lutheran Quarterly (new series) began publishing Lutheran history and theology on a scholarly level as a revival of Lutheran Quarterly (1949-1977), itself a successor to Evangelical Review since 1849, Lutheran Quarterly Review, 1882, and the Augustana Quarterly, 1922. The new series of Lutheran Quarterly continues the predecessor statement of aims: to provide a forum 1) for the discussion of Christian faith and life on the basis of the Lutheran confession; 2) for the application of the principles of the Lutheran church to the changing problems of religion and society; 3) for the fostering of world Lutheranism, and 4) for the promotion of understanding between Lutherans and other Christians.

1984 Board MinutesReviving Lutheran Quarterly was the work first of all of Oliver K. Olson, in conversations over several years with various Lutheran historians and theologians. Such informal consultations culminated in September 1984 with an organizing meeting of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Quarterly, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Oliver Olson was named Editor and Kenneth Hagen Associate Editor.

Photo: Lutheran Quarterly, Inc. launch meeting minutes.


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To launch the journal, a conference was held in August of 1986 in Schaumberg, Illinois, on the theme “Whither the Lutheran Heritage?” Many of the papers read at the conference became essays in the first issue, including those listed in the program by Gerhard Forde, Clarence Lee, H. George Anderson and Robert Goeser.

Photo: The August 1986 conference program.

1987 Table of ContentsThe first issue of Lutheran Quarterly, new series, contained Oliver K. Olson’s “Editor’s Introduction” and then a theological manifesto on the doctrinal direction of the journal by Gerhard Forde, “Radical Lutheranism.” The first “Table of Contents,” reflecting the 1986 conference, illustrates the combination of theological and historical studies characteristic of the journal throughout its history, with book reviews and no editorials.

Photo: The first table of contents for Lutheran Quarterly, new series.

1986 Brochure FrontWith the re-appearance of Lutheran Quarterly came the first full-scale brochure, naming the Editorial Board, describing the publication, and inviting subscriptions. Carter Lindberg was identified as the first Book Review Editor, and continued in that role until 1998. Named Managing Editor was Virgil Thompson, who has been at that central post for all thirty years of publication.