Creation’s house rules: take only your share; clean up after yourself; and keep the house in good repair for others. Sallie McFague, “Intimate Creation” (see below)
This post provides background and extended reading for the presentation that I did at the 2009 Armidale Sustainable Living Expo. There are also links to useful webpages. I decided that this would be a better way of doing things than printing out pieces of paper which might or might not be used.
If you have not done any reading in this area before, I would suggest that Barry Leal’s book the Environment and Christian Faith is a good place to start. It’s part of the St Paul’s Press “Windows Into…” series and doesn’t assume particular familiarity with either the field or theological language. Then try Sallie McFague’s “Intimate Creation”, which provides a good, short overview of the various models of God that have been prevalent in Christianity and the problems they cause for human relationships with the world we live in.
- Birch, Charles. 1993. Regaining compassion for humanity and nature. Kensington, NSW, Australia: New South Wales University Press. Birch is a former Challis Professor of Biology at the University of Sydney, now an internationally recognised process theologian.
- Carmody, John. 1983. Ecology and religion: toward a new Christian theology of nature. New York: Paulist Press.
- Church of England. 1986. Our responsibility for the living environment: a report of the General Synod Board for Social Responsibility GS718. London: Church House.
- Edwards, Denis, and Mark William Worthing (eds). 2004. Biodiversity & ecology: an interdisciplinary challenge. Interface (Adelaide, Australia), v.7 no.1. Adelaide, Australia: Australian Theological Forum Press. – Australian editors with international range of contributors
- Galvin, Ray. 1993. Christ and the good earth: an introduction to ecological theology. Red Beach, Orewa, New Zealand: Colcom Press. – A New Zealand author.
- Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley. 1984. A worldly spirituality: the call to redeem life on earth. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
- Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley. 1987. Tending the garden: essays on the Gospel and the earth. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.
- Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley. 1988. Ecology and life: accepting our environmental responsibility. Issues of Christian conscience. Waco, Tex: Word Books.
- Habel, Norman C., and Peter L. Trudinger. 2008. Exploring ecological hermeneutics. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Norman Habel is an Australian Lutheran biblical scholar who has worked internationally but is now resident in Adelaide.
- Habel, Norman C. 2009. An inconvenient text: is a green reading of the Bible possible? Hindmarsh, S. Aust: ATF.
- Habel, Norman C., and Peter L. Trudinger. 2009. Water: a matter of life and death. Hindmarsh, S. Aust: ATF.
- Leal, Robert Barry. 2004. The environment and Christian faith: an introduction to ecotheology. St. Paul’s windows into, 3. Strathfield, N.S.W.: St. Pauls. – a good place to start if you have never read in this area. An overview by an Australian author. The Uniting Church chaplaincy owns a copy which Armidale people or UNE students could borrow.
- Leal, Robert Barry. 2006. Through ecological eyes: reflections on Christianity’s environmental credentials. Strathfield, NSW: St Pauls. – an expansion on the previous book
- Ledger, Christine, and Stephen Pickard (eds). 2004. Creation and complexity: interdisciplinary issues in science and religion. Adelaide: ATF Pres.- again, Australian editors with international contributors.
- McFague, Sallie. 1987. Models of God: theology for an ecological, nuclear age. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Not as specifically ecotheological as The body of God but an excellent critique of traditional models of God from the perspective of a feminist with a respect for creation.
- McFague, Sallie. 1993. The body of God: an ecological theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. – ecotheology from a feminist perspective – an expansion on Models of God
- McFague, Sallie. 2001. Life abundant : rethinking theology and economy for a planet in peril. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
- McFague, Sallie. 2002. “FEATURES – Intimate creation – God’s body, our home”. The Christian Century. 119 (6): 36. – looks at different models of God and why they are problematic for sustainability, then outlines one in which the creation is seen as God’s body. This is available electronically through the UNE library if you are a student or member of staff.
- Santmire, H. Paul. 1985. The travail of nature: the ambiguous ecological promise of Christian theology. Theology and the sciences. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. – one of the classics in the field.
- Santmire, H. Paul. 2000. Nature reborn: the ecological and cosmic promise of Christian theology. Theology and the sciences. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
- Scullion, John J. et al. 1981. God’s creation and human responsibility for the earth. Melbourne: Polding Press- four Australian Jesuits present biblical, theological and ethical perspectives on the role of human beings in caring for the earth.
- White, Lynn. 1967. “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”. Science 155: 1203-1207 http://aeoe.org/resources/spiritual/rootsofcrisis.pdf – the famous article that critiques Western Christianity’s use of the environment. It also shows that there is another strand of Christianity that could be followed.
- The Earth Bible Series – Australian scholars.
- Habel, Norman C. 2000. Readings from the perspective of Earth. The Earth Bible, v 1. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press.
- Habel, Norman C., and Shirley Wurst. 2000. The earth story in Genesis. The earth Bible, v 2. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic.
- Habel, Norman C., and Shirley Wurst. 2001. The Earth story in wisdom traditions. The Earth Bible, v 3. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.
- Habel, Norman C. 2001. The Earth story in the Psalms and the Prophets. The Earth Bible, v 4. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press.
- Habel, Norman C., and Vicky Balabanski. 2002. The Earth story in the New Testament and apocalyptic. Earth Bible, v 5. London: Sheffield Academic Press.
There are a number of places on the web where you can find extensive reading lists. The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University has a downloadable resouce brochure and Earth Ministry also has a very, very extensive resource section. Uniting Earth Web has some more practical Australian resources. The Uniting Church in Western Australia’s Green Church website and Maroubra Junction Uniting Church’s Project Green Church webpages provide more Australian and practical resources. The World Council of churches also has some useful and interesting resources. Go to their website and search for “ecology” and “ecological” and/or scan down the list of news items for their most recent statements and most recent news of their projects.