News, VOLUME 12

Ten Theology Books to Watch For [June 2019]

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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The Gardeners’ Dirty Hands: Environmental Politics and Christian Ethics

Noah Toly

Oxford UP

The past three centuries have witnessed the accumulation of unprecedented levels of wealth and the production of unprecedented risks. These risks include the declining integrity and stability of many of the world’s environments, which face dramatic and possibly irreversible change as the environmental burdens of late modern lifestyles increasingly shift to fragile ecosystems, vulnerable communities, and future generations. Globalization has increased the scope and scale of these risks, as well as the pace of their emergence. It has also made possible global environmental governance, attempts to manage risk by unprecedented numbers and types of authoritative agents, including state and non-state actors at the local, national, regional, and global levels.

In The Gardeners’ Dirty Hands: Environmental Politics and Christian Ethics, Noah Toly offers an interpretation of environmental governance that draws upon insights into the tragic – the need to forego, give up, undermine, or destroy one or more goods in order to possess or secure one or more other goods. Toly engages Christian and classical Greek ideas of the tragic to illuminate the enduring challenges of environmental politics. He suggests that Christians have unique resources for responsible engagement with global environmental politics while acknowledging the need for mutually agreed, and ultimately normative, restraints.



Gratitude for the Wild: Christian Ethics in the Wilderness 

Nathaniel Van Yperen

Lexington Books

Since the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, a hotly contested debate over the value of wilderness reveals cultural anxieties about an American society that has spurned limits. Gratitude for the Wildexplores how the wild known in wilderness raises our tolerance for mystery in the recognition of our limits and in the celebration of a God-loved world that exceeds our grasping. The idea of wilderness introduces questions about the balance between utility and appreciation, and between enjoyment and restraint. Wilderness is a nexus of competing and contested accounts of responsibility. In conversation with the work of Doug Peacock, Terry Tempest Williams, James Gustafson, and Martin Luther King Jr., Nathaniel Van Yperen offers an original argument for how wilderness can evoke a vision of a good life in which creaturely limits are accepted in gratitude, even in the face of ambiguity and mystery. Through the theme of gratitude, the book refocuses attention on the role of affection and testimony in ecological ethics and Christian ethics.

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