Resources

Online

Laudato Si. Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and human ecology, available to read online, download or order.

Books

Bass, D. B. (2015) Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution. New York: HarperOne (323 pages). The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us. Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground by discovering and embracing God everywhere in the world around us – in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighbourhoods, and in the global commons. People are connecting with God through the environment in which we live. Bass invites readers to join this emerging spiritual revolution, find a revitalized expression of faith, and change the world.

Bauckham, R. (2010) Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation. London: Darton, Longman and Todd (226 pages). Offers a biblical investigation into the relationship between human beings and the rest of creation. Bauckham considers the ecological perspectives found in the book of Job, the Psalms, and the Gospels. He discovers a tradition of a ‘community of creation’ in which human beings are fellow members with God’s other creatures and true reconciliation to God involves the entire creation. Develops a biblically grounded approach to ecology.

Bell, C., and White, R. S. (eds) (2016) Creation Care and the Gospel: Reconsidering the Mission of the Church. Hendrickson (350 pages). How should Christians react to environmental crisis? This book collects the work of biblical scholars, theologians, biologists, environmental researchers and community organizers. Participants from 23 countries as diverse as Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, and Canada offer reflections on the state of the planet and on the role and ministry of the church in caring for God’s creation. The book reminds us that caring for creation is central to the evangelical faith, that it is an integral part of our mission, an expression of our worship of God, and a matter of great joy and hope.

Christie, D. E. (2013) The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology. Oxford: Oxford University Press (464 pages). What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Christie argues that it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings.

Deane-Drummond, C. (2008) Eco-Theology. London: Darton, Longman and Todd (240 pages). In Eco-Theology, Celia Deane-Drummond offers a comprehensive resource book that highlights and seeks to evaluate the merits or otherwise of contemporary eco-theologies. She introduces the reader to critical debates in eco-theology, tracing trends from around the globe and key theological responses, and encourages reflection and analysis through further reading sections at the end of each chapter and questions for discussion.

Deane-Drummond, C. (2017) A Primer in Ecotheology: Theology for a Fragile Earth. Eugene, OR: Cascade (167 pages). Written in clear, accessible style, this book offers an introduction to ecotheology. Asks questions such as: How can the Bible still make sense in the context of climate change and biodiversity loss? How can we encourage each other to develop a sense of the earth as divine gift?

Foster, C., and Shreeve, D. (2008) Don’t Stop at the Lights: Leading Your Church through a Changing Climate. London: Church House Publishing (176 pages). Many churches are taking action to reduce their carbon footprints. But recycling and changing lightbulbs are only the first steps. This handbook gives clergy and church leaders the tools they need to help their congregations take those next steps. Structured around the Church’s year for ease of implementation, Don’t Stop at the Lights provides material to help church leaders plan a year of environmental change in their church. For each season, it includes: environmental themes and how to link these to services and sermons; practical actions; case studies of good practice to inspire church leaders; study material on key biblical texts on creation and environmental concern.

Gnanakan, K. (1999) God’s World: Biblical Insights for a Theology of the Environment. London: SPCK (229 pages). Examines a biblical theology of the environment, covering biblical teaching, a theology of creation, and an examination of eco-feminism, as well as a history of environment thought. Central to its approach is the idea that theory must lead to action.

Gorringe, T., and Beckham, R. (2013) Transition Movement for Churches. London: Canterbury Press Norwich (96 pages). The Transition Town Movement is a fast growing social movement with hundreds of local groups which aims to prepare communities for the impact of peak oil and climate change. Many Christians are involved already, but this is the first book to equip local churches to engage with the movement towards greater simplicity.

Horrell, D. G., Hunt, C., Southgate, C., and F. Stavrakopoulou (eds) (2010) Ecological Hermeneutics: Biblical, Historical and Theological Perspectives. London: T&T Clark International (333 pages). Leading scholars reflect critically on the kinds of appeal to the Bible that have been made in environmental ethics and ecotheoloogy and engage with biblical texts with a view towards exploring their contribution to an ecological ethics.  Some essays show where biblical texts, or particular approaches in the history of interpretation, represent anthropocentric or even anti-ecological moves. One of the overall aims of the book is to suggest how, and why, an ecological hermeneutic (ecological interpretation) might be developed.

Marlow, H. (2008) The Earth Is the Lord’s: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues. Cambridge: Grove (28 pages). Looking at a range of texts and themes in Old and New Testaments, this study shows how the whole of the non-human created order is included in the biblical vision of God’s restoration. It includes questions for reflection and points to resources for practical action.

Northcott, M. S. (2007) A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming. London: Darton Longman and Todd (336 pages). Despite scientific evidence and pressure from grassroots movements, the threat of an ecological crisis has for a long time failed to achieve prominence in ecclesiastical or political circles. And yet it is one of the biggest moral dilemmas of our time. Michael Northcott examines theological attitudes to climate change, from the complacent to the apocalyptic, and the ethical implications for all Christians. While this may now be somewhat dated, it is still relevant, particularly on the biblical material.

Pope Francis (2015) Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. Rome: Vatican Press (116 pages). In his second encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis follows and expands on Catholic teaching on humankind’s responsibility to care for God’s creation, and protect and care for the most vulnerable.

Provan, I. (2008) Tenants in God’s Land: Earth-Keeping and People-Keeping in the Old Testament. Cambridge: Grove (24 pages). The reading offered here shows the centrality to Genesis of a sense of common purpose between humanity and creation and within humanity itself. This sets a challenging agenda for the twin tasks of respect for the earth and concern for others.

Martin-Schramm, J. B., Spencer, D. T., and Stivers, L. A. (2015) Earth Ethics: A Case Method Approach. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis (320 pages). This volume introduces new topics in environmental ethics, including hydraulic fracturing, greenhouse gases, food consumption, and resource stewardship, and revisits traditional topics in environmental ethics, while expanding beyond a specifically Christian hermeneutic. This is an excellent teaching book for older teenagers and students.

Simiyu, S., and P. Harris (2008) Caring for Creation: Part of Our Gospel Calling? Cambridge: Grove (28 pages). This booklet shows not only why care for the creation connects with central themes in the Bible and gospel, but also how closely intertwined it is with care of others, thus making it part of the central command to love our global neighbour.

Tucker, M. E., and Grim, J. (2016) Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the UniverseMaryknoll, NY: Orbis (368 pages). This volume explores Christian responses to the Universe Story (a book, a film and a conversation series by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme that offers a moving narrative of cosmic evolution from the origins of the cosmos to the present ) and its implications for the contemporary environmental crisis. The book draws on the contributions of leading theologians, ethicists, scientists and activists. Writing from a Roman Catholic perspective, Tucker and Grim provide a strong sense of the sacramentality of creation.

White, R. S. (ed.) (2009) Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability. London: SPCK (320 pages). Creation is in crisis. Why then do we continue in activities that are manifestly harmful to ourselves and to others? This volume highlights the seriousness of environmental degradation and climate change, the root causes and possible solutions, and the contribution of Christian thinking to these issues.

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