Books

Brueggemann, Walter. Land: Place as Gift Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith, Revised Edition (Overtures to Biblical Theology). Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

The land was one of the most vibrant symbols for the people of ancient Israel. In the land—gift, promise, and challenge—was found the physical source of Israel’s fertility and life, and a place for the gathering of the hopes of the covenant people. In this careful treatment, Walter Brueggemann follows the development of his theme through the major blocks of Israel’s traditions. The book provides a point of entrance both to the theology of the Old Testament and to aspects of the New Testament-even as it illuminates crucial issues of the contemporary scene. In this fully revised version, Brueggemann provides new insights, as well as updating the discussion, notes, and bibliography.

The Blue Sapphire of the MindChristie, Douglas E. The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology. NY: Oxford University Press, 2013.

A wonderful new offering, based in early Christian monasticism, that articulates the role of a contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice in helping to restore out sense of Earth as a sacred place.

Jensen, Derrick. Listening to the Land: Conversations About Nature, Culture and Eros. White River Junction VT: Chelsea Green Pub Co., 2004.

In this far-ranging and heartening collection, Derrick Jensen gathers conversations with environmentalists, theologians, Native Americans, psychologists, and feminists, engaging some of our best minds in an exploration of more peaceful ways to live on Earth. Included here is Dave Foreman on biodiversity, Matthew Fox on Christianity and nature, Jerry Mander on technology, and Terry Tempest Williams on an erotic connection to the land. With intelligence and compassion, Listening to the Land moves from a look at the condition of the environment and the health of our spirit to a beautiful evocation of eros and a life based on love.

Johnson, Elizabeth A., Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love. Bloomsbury, 2014.

What value does the natural world have within the framework of religious belief? The crisis of biodiversity in our day, when species are going extinct at more than 1,000 times the natural rate, renders this question acutely important…. Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love leads to the conclusion that love of the natural world is an intrinsic element of faith in God and that far from being an add-on, ecological care is at the centre of moral life. (Amazon review of a fine book.)

Moore, Kathleen Dean and Michael P. Nelson., Moral Ground: Ehtical Action for a Planet in Peril. Trinity University Press, 2011.

A collection of excellent short essays by authors from varied disciplines about our individual and collective moral responsibilities to care for our home planet.

Sanders, Scott Russell. Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1993.

Wonderfully written work by the well-known local writer, English Professor at IU Bloomington.

Tredinnick, Mark. The Land’s Wild Music: Encounters with Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and James Galvin. San Antonio TX: Trinity University Press, 2005.

At the heart of The Land’s Wild Music is an examination of the relationship between writers and their land. Interviewing four great American writers of place — Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and James Galvin — author Mark Tredinnick considers how writers transmute the power of nature into words. Each author is profiled in a separate chapter written in rich, engaging prose that reads like the best journalism, and Tredinnick concludes with his
own thoughts on what it takes to be “an authentic witness of place.”

Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. NY: Pantheon, 1991.

A classic of place-based literature, this work parallels the story of her Mother’s dying and ecological happenings in Utah’s Great Salt Lake. SMWC has given her an honorary degree.

DVDs

The Living Land. 30 minute DVD produced by the Foundation for Global Community.
It features thought-provoking informative interviews with Wes Jackson (The Land Institute), John Jeavons (food production method), Alice Waters (Edible Schoolyards), and Mas Masomoto (organic peach farmer extrordinaire).

Quotes

The Earth Charter

“We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

“The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.”

Benedict XVI

“My dear friends, God’s creation is one and it is good. The concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity.” Sept 4 Youth Rally

Terry Tempest Williams

“It may be that our task now, as it has always been, is to listen. Simply that. If we really listen, the land will tell us what it wants, and tell us how we can live more responsively.” (Listening to the Land, Derrick Jensen.), 1995. p315.

Websites

Laudato Si. Pope Francis’ “ecojustice” encyclical of June 2015, available by chapter or as a PDF at http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/06/18/read-the-encyclical-for-yourself-laudato-si/

Short cartoons by Annie Leonard on Story of Stuff, Story of Cap & Trade, Story of Bottled Water, Story of Change, Story of Solutions: http://storyofstuff.org/movies/

Interreligious teachings on ecology. The webinars on Buddhist and Muslim teachings are particularly good and illustrate commonalities with Christian (Catholic) teachings: http://www.greenfaith.org/success-stories/religious-teachings-webinars-march-2015?searchterm=webinars