Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the preacher or Christian reader in your life? Try these books about faith and the environment! Alphabetical by author:
- Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change, by the Rev. Jim Antal. The United Church of Christ’s leading voice on climate change explores climate science, worship, personal discipleship and action, and much more.
- Sisters of Dust, Sisters of Spirit, by Karen Baker-Fletcher, Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. A defining text in the field of eco-womanism. Baker-Fletcher “combines a keen awareness of environmental racism with reflection on her own journey and a keen constructive theological vision.”
- Dream of the Earth by Thomas Berry, the Catholic “geo-logian” who helped start the academic field of religion and ecology.
- The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future by Thomas Berry
- Love God, Heal Earth: 21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out on Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment, edited by the Rev. Sally Bingham, co-founder of Interfaith Power & Light and Canon for the Environment in the Episcopal Diocese of California. From all parts of the religious and political spectrum, these diverse authors come together to tell why caring for the earth is a spiritual mandate, offering plans of action that go beyond the walls of religious congregations and out into the broader community.
- Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor by Leonardo Boff, the noted liberation theologian. This book was a major influence on Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si.”
- Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis. Perhaps the definitive work on Christianity, climate change, and global interconnection, from a Roman Catholic perspective. Great for a parish book group. Also available: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Laudato Si PDF Discussion Guide.
- Loving Creation: Christian Spirituality, Earth-Centered and Just, by Kathleen Fischer. “Draws from ancient and contemporary sources to fashion a holistic Christian spirituality that unites ecological concerns with social justice [and] personal struggles with those of the planet.”
- Ecology and Religion by John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker, pioneers of the academic field of religion and ecology, and students of the aforementioned Thomas Berry (as well as mentors of the ECN editor). A good introductory book that looks at what multiple world religions, including Christianity, can offer to ecological efforts.
- GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Save the Earth, by Fletcher Harper. Concrete examples and tips that will help people of faith and worshiping communities engage in Earth care—in bold, life-giving ways. Each chapter has questions to guide personal study and group conversation.
- Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-being of Earth and Humans, a series of articles and essays edited by Dieter T. Hessel and Rosemary Radford Ruether.
- The Future of Ethics: Sustainability, Social Justice, and Religious Creativity by Willis Jenkins. A little on the academic side, but practical and thoughtful.
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, by Robin Kimmerer. The Potawatomi woman and Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology explores different ways of knowing, examining both indigenous approaches and western science, and looking at why we should express gratitude to the earth for the things it gives us.
- Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake, by the Rev. Nurya Love Parish. Parish, an Episcopal priest, is the founder of Plainsong Farm and a leading voice in the Christian food movement. Resurrection Matters is Plainsong’s story, as well as “a fruitful study and action guide for any church that owns property and in which groups gather together to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. It helps groups connect their faith and the assets that they steward for God’s mission, recognizing these assets as gifts for ministry with their wider community.”
- Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis, by Christiana Peppard. A powerful look at justice and water.
- Anything by the ethicist Larry L. Rasmussen:
- Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation with Bruce C. Birch, Jacqueline E. Lapsley, and Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda
- Earth Community, Earth Ethics
- Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key
- God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayer for Creation, by Dr. Anne and Bishop Jeffery Rowthorn. Published just this month, the newest book listed here. A collection of 52 beautiful, ready-made environmental prayer services, drawing from a rich variety of ecumenical resources and authors.
- Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit, by the Rev. Leah D. Schade, providing both theoretical grounding and practical tips for preachers to create environmental sermons that are relevant, courageous, creative, pastoral, and inspiring.
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