Here are some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:
* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology
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Creation as Sacrament: Reflections on Ecology and Spirituality
John Chryssavgis explores the sacred dimension of the natural environment, and the significance of creation in the rich theological history and spiritual classics of the Orthodox Church, through the lens of its unique ascetical, liturgical and mystical experience.
The global ecological crisis affecting humanity’s air, water, and land, as well as the planet’s flora and fauna, has resulted in manifest fissures on the image of God in creation. Chryssavgis examines, from an Orthodox Christian perspective, the possibility of restoring that shattered image through the sacramental lenses of cosmic transfiguration, cosmic interconnection, and cosmic reconciliation. The viewpoints of early theologians and contemporary thinkers are extensively explored from a theological and spiritual perspective, including countering those who deny that God’s creation is in crisis. Presenting a worldview advanced and championed by the Orthodox Church in the modern world, this book encourages personal and societal transformation in making ethical and economic choices that respect creation as sacrament.
Deep Incarnation: God’s Redemptive Suffering With Creatures
Based on the Duffy Lectures, a yearly lecture series at Boston College, this book explores the theme of “Deep Incarnation” as a way of making connections between incarnation and the whole of creation, including the costs built into our evolutionary world. The key question of “Deep Incarnation,” for Edwards, is: “What relationship is there between the wider natural world, the world of galaxies and stars, mountains and seas, bacteria, plants and animals, and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
To approach this theme, Edwards draws upon the work of Niels Gregersen (the “father of Deep Incarnation”), Elizabeth Johnson, and others. He then engages with Irenaeus, Athanius, and Karl Rahner as three great witnesses to a deep view of incarnation, and concludes with his own constructive approach to the book’s theme.
Denis Edwards (1943-2019) was an Australian priest and an influential eco-theologian known the world over for his work in expanding an understanding of the relationship between science and faith. At the time of his death he was a professorial fellow in theology at Australian Catholic University, Adelaide Campus. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for his comtributions to church and to theology. Fr. Edwards was author of many books on the meaning of Christian faith in an ecological age. These included Ecology at the Heart of Faith, Breath of Life: A Theology of the Creator Spirit, Christian Understandings of Creation: The Historical Trajectory, and Partaking of God: Trinity, Evolution, and Ecology.
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