Ecotheology and the Practice of Hope

By Anne Marie Dalton & Henry C. Simmons

Subjects: Religion, Theology, Ecology, Environmental Philosophy, Environmental Studies
Series: SUNY series on Religion and the Environment
Paperback : 9781438432960, 197 pages, July 2011
Hardcover : 9781438432977, 197 pages, October 2010

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Table of contents

1. The Social Imaginary and the Ecological Crisis
2. The Emergence of Ecotheology
3. Imagined Futures
4. Theology and the Ecological Crisis
5. Science and Ecology
6. Global and Local in the Social Imaginary
7. Living As If

Looks at how ecotheology has created a new vision of the natural world and the place of humans within it.


Is there any hope for a more sustainable world? Can we reimagine a way of living in which the nonhuman world matters? Anne Marie Dalton and Henry C. Simmons claim that the ecotheology that arose during the mid-twentieth century gives us reason for hope. While ecotheologians acknowledge that Christianity played a significant role in creating societies in which the nonhuman world counted for very little, these thinkers have refocused religion to include the natural world. To borrow philosopher Charles Taylor's concept, they have created a new "social imaginary," reimagining a better world and a different sense of what is and what should be. A new mindset is emerging, inspired by ecotheological texts and evident in the many diverse movements and activities that operate as if the hope imparted by ecotheology has already been realized. While making this powerful argument, Dalton and Simmons also provide an essential overview of key ecotheological thinkers and texts

Anne Marie Dalton is Professor of Religious Studies at Saint Mary's University in Halifax. She is the author of A Theology for the Earth: The Contributions of Thomas Berry and Bernard Lonergan. Henry C. Simmons is Professor Emeritus of Christian Education at the Union Presbyterian Seminary. He is coauthor (with James C. Fisher) of A Journey Called Aging: Challenges and Opportunities in Older Adulthood and (with Jane Wilson) Soulful Aging: Ministry through the Stages of Adulthood.


"…this monograph makes its own contribution to both the field of ecotheology and the optimistic purpose which Dalton and Simmons unfold within its pages, holding out the hope for a transformed Christianity that makes a positive contribution to a sustainable future. This noteworthy aspect of the authors' work makes Ecotheology and the Practice of Hope poignant reading in a time of ecological crisis. " — Studies in Religion