Archives For Ecology


A Clear and Highly Developed Vision of a Better World

A Feature Review of

Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters Of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder.

Hardback: Counterpoint, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Michelle E. Wilbert


In the affectionate introduction to this edifying collection of correspondence between novelist, poet, and cultural critic Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, the “Poet Laureate of Deep Ecology,” an essayist, activist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1974 for his book Turtle Island, editor Chad Wriglesworth relays the earliest articulation of the relationship between the two men, found in a short essay sent by Berry to Snyder after his returning home to Kentucky following his first visit to Snyder’s homestead in the San Juan Ridge area of southern California. While offering his observations on their various shared affinities and concerns – land, community, and the sense that “being native to a place” involves examining the questions that would lead to a commitment to arresting the “pattern of imposing human will upon the land” and to living within creaturely limits in conformity to the local ecology – he concluded his reveries by metaphorically extending his hand with the declaration, “We are neighbors—distant neighbors,” and thus began a friendship that has lasted more than 40 years and has been conducted largely through the somewhat lost art of epistolary.

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A great conversation between Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, on the occasion of their new book

Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder

Hardback: Counterpoint Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
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Leading the Way.

A Review of

Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community

Leah Kostamo

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

*** The Kindle ebook is on sale for $3.99 for the remainder of May!

Reviewed by Kurt Armstrong

Leah and Markku Kostamo established Canada’s first Christian environmental center more than 12 years ago, an A Rocha site on ten acres of vulnerable land on the Little Campbell Watershed, 30 minutes south of Vancouver, BC. A Rocha (no, not Almond Rocha) is an international Christian conservation society working in 19 countries around the world. Similar to 4th century monastics or today’s New Monastic communities, A Rocha works within abandoned or vulnerable ecosystems, where people give their lives to a particular vision for a particular place. A Rocha uses the tagline “Environmental Stewardship” instead of the more-honest-but-less-professional-sounding “Because We Love This Place.” But Leah Kostamo’s book, Planted, is unmistakably a love story, complete with dreams, romance, frustration, heartache, and fidelity.

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Carol Johnston

Here is the fourth of the audio recordings from the Slow Church Conference that we hosted last month here at Englewood Christian Church.

Previously posted talks from the Slow Church conference:

Our aim for the conference was to foster conversation around the work of several key theologians whose work inspired the Slow Church book that John Pattison and I wrote.

[ Download a FREE sampler of the SLOW CHURCH book here… ]

Carol Johnston is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis).

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The Christian Vision of the Restoration of all Things

A Feature Review of

A Political Theology of Climate Change
Michael Northcott

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon

Reviewed by Spencer Cummins
The bombardment of media coverage regarding issues regarding global warming, climate change, and environmental politics assault the modern viewer at every angle.  From progressive to conservative viewpoints, we are facing a crisis as to which voice is most trustworthy and worth our attention.  At the same time, believers of every Christian tradition recognize the need for judicious analysis of the climate change quandary.  Into the mass of connective tissue that holds together climate change politics steps Michael S. Northcott, Professor of Ethics at the University of Edinburgh.  His new book, A Political Theology of Climate Change, is a riveting in-depth analysis of both anthropogenic climate change and theological reflection on creation.  Rather than run the risk of bringing out the outmoded conflict of political polarizing views on the climate change issue, Northcott provides the reader with both the climate change science that is behind the issues and counters the philosophical underpinnings of the view that nature and culture, science and ethics are at odds with each other at their foundations.  Engaging with writers as broad as J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl Schmitt, Bruno Latour, and Alasdair MacIntyre, Northcott digs deeply into climate change science and deeply reflects on the world that God has made.

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I love the imagery of “June Wind” by Wendell Berry, what a fitting poem for this time of year!

Found in the collection

Given: Poems
Wendell Berry

Paperback: Counterpoint, 2005.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Free MP3 downloads of Wendell Berry Reading Seven Poems!

*** Other Books of Poems by Wendell Berry

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

> > > >
Next Book

Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation
Edited by John Chryssavgis, and Bruce V. Foltz


An excerpt from Ragan Sutterfield’s new book:

Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2013.
Buy now: [ Cascade Books – 20% Discount ] [ Kindle ]

Watch for our review in our next print issue…  (Subscribe now!)

We’ll be giving away 3 copies of this book (and Ragan’s earlier book Farming as a Spirtual Discipline) for the next 3 days!Stay tuned…


Ragan Sutterfield – Cultivating Reality [Excerpt]

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Transforming Our Imaginations

A Review of

No Oil in the Lamp: Fuel, Faith and the Energy Crisis

Andy Mellen and Neil Hollow

Paperback: Darton Longman & Todd, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Geoff Maddock


It seems to me there are two colossal issues in need of our full attention right now.  One is called the Climate Crisis and encompasses the complex metrics of climate change, extreme weather, rising ocean levels, melting glaciers, and all manner of events that evoke images of the end-times.  The second is often called the Energy Crisis.  These are deeply connected and might be understood as two sides of the same coin.  This second crisis awakens us to the simple fact that we are using more and more of diminishing and finite resources to work, recreate, get around, and eat.

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Deep Green Manifesto

A Review of

Life Rules: Nature’s Blueprint for Surviving Economic and Environmental Collapse

Ellen LaConte

Paperback: New Society Publishers, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Josh Wallace


I was a climate-change doubter for many years. I’ve since had my conversion. I doubt, however, that Ellen LaConte’s Life Rules would have changed my mind.


Perhaps this okay. LaConte doesn’t set out to win over doubters. Judging by her endnotes, this may be an instance of the choir preaching to the choir. Most items she cites are put out by ecologically-minded presses or culled from permaculture, Deep Green, et cetera websites or newsletters. In the same way, the content of Life Rules is much more of a curated collection of the best ideas of other authors than an argument for a new conceptual scheme or course of action.

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