Some Books to Start Your Eco-Library:
The Green Bible, Harper Collins, 2008
Redeeming Creation, Dyke et al, InterVarsity Press, 1996
The Future Eaters, Tim Flannery, Reed New Holland, 1994
Shaedow Master, Justin D’arth, Allen & Unwin, 2003 (fiction, great for teens)
We Are The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery, Text Publishing Company, 2006
A Reason for Hope, Jane Goodall, Warner Books, 1999
Field Guides and books on Australian Wildlife and environmental issues
SEE-Change Centres: grey power and hope, Bob Douglas, Goanna print 2006
Earth & Word, David Rhoads, The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc, 2007
The Care of Creation, R.J. Berry, InterVarsity Press, 2000
Wildflower Journey Prayers, Jacinta Shailer sgs, David Lovell Publishing, 2007
The Birds Our Teachers: Biblical lessons from a lifelong bird-watcher, John Stott, Lion Hudson plc, 2007
The State of the Planet, John Nicholson, Allen & Unwin, 2000
How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change a Planet? Tony Juniper, Quercus, 2007
How Good Are You? Clean Living in a Dirty World, Julian Lee, Random House, 2008
Earth in the Balance, Al Gore, Rodale Inc, 1992
The Care of Creation, Sam Berry
The Travail of Nature, Paul Santmire
The Environment and Christian Ethics, Michael Northcott
The Bible and Ecology, R. Bauckham
Serve God Save the Planet, Matthew Sleeth
Why We Disagree about Climate Change, M. Hulme
A Greener Faith, R. Gottlieb. Also edited Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Pollution and the Death of Man, F. Schaeffer
Exile and Homecoming, W. Brueggemann (commentary on Jeremiah)
Food and Faith: A theology of eating, Norman Wirzba
Natural Saints: How People of Faith are Working to save God’s Earth, Mallory McDuff
The Green Bible
The Green Bible from Harper One Publishing in conjunction with the Sierra Club, the Humane Society and the Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches USA, will be a fantastic addition to any specialty study Bible collection and is creating a splash in churches around the world. The Green Bible aims to equip and encourage people to see God’s vision for creation and help them engage in the work of healing and sustaining it.
The new Bible, which uses the New Standard Revised Version, features green lettering to highlight verses and passages that speak to God’s care for creation, is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink and has a cotton/linen cover. The use of green lettering will encourage readers to notice there are over 1,000 references to the earth in the Bible, compared to only 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love, emphasising the importance of the creation care message.
The Green Bible includes a fantastic series of contributions from leading authors, a section on various teachings on Creation through the Ages, a green subject index, trail guide through the text, and a section on ‘where do you go from here’ including actions for individuals and families, action ideas for churches, and a list of organisations and web links that can be of use. This Bible is the perfect answer for anyone who has ever wondered what the Bible has to say about the environment and whether God truly cares if we mistreat the earth.
You can browse inside at The Green Bible website http://greenletterbible.com and there is also a Green Bible Devotional available.
The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth, by Thomas Berry and edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Orbis Books: Ecology and Justice Series, Maryknoll USA, 2009.
This short (116 page) collection of ten essays written by the great Catholic geologian, religious historian and member of the Passionist order Thomas Berry between 1987 and 2000, speaks a vital message for the church today.
Berry uses his background in history to explore the roots of the disharmony between people, particularly Christians, and the Earth, and how this might be overcome by a new story of how we came to be and thorough integration of evolution into the Christianity. Berry calls for a second exodus and the formation of the Ecozoic era where humans are present to the planet in a mutually enhancing manner as part of a single integral community of the Earth and by accepting, protecting and fostering the Earth.
Berry argues strongly that the universe is a source of revelation of the divine, and that by damaging creation we deprive our souls. He believes the future of Christianity depends on us assuming responsibility for the fate of the Earth. Yet his message is very hopeful. He sees the church as an essential part of creating a renewed future for the Earth that is already beginning.
Berry’s writings will be challenging for some, due to his emphasis on evolution, revelation within other religions and his ecocentric view of humans as simply a part of the Earth community. Nevertheless, for those willing to keep an open mind this is a very interesting book that may expand your thinking in this area and is well worth exploring.
Review by Jessica Morthorpe, director of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards ecumenical environmental change program for churches.
The Death of Life: The horror of extinction by Sean McDonagh SSC, The Columba Press, 2004, Dublin, Ireland
Written by an Irish Catholic who spent 12 years living with a tribal people in the Philippines, this book is the perfect introduction to the Christian call to care for God’s creatures. Covering science from all over the world on the massive decline of species, the Biblical basis for caring for God’s creatures and the history and theology behind why we have often not, this book also provides suggestions for a new theology, ethical framework and a way of living lightly on the earth which provide a basis for the church to move forward in this area.
While the figures are dire, the general tone of the book is one of searching for a better future, not judging the past. Even though some emphasis is placed on Ireland in the writing, the book also covers the major regions of the world, including Australia.
This book challenges Christians to adopt a new kind of pro-life stance, one that encompasses all of creation. This is presented as the special task and challenge of our generation. By the next generation, it will be too late. I highly recommend that if you are new to church greening or eco-theology or if you have been interested in Climate Change issues mostly from the perspective of a Christian responsibility to the poor; you should read this book. If you have friends in these situations give them a copy – you might help save the world.