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Christianity & the Renewal of Nature - Creation, climate change & human responsibility

Author: Sebastian C H Kim and Jonathan Draper (Eds)
Published By: SPCK (London)
Pages: 142
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 978 0 281 06331 4

Reviewed by Luke Penkett.

One of the most serious problems facing us in this twenty-first century is the reality of climate change and the challenges it presents to sustainable living, especially as Christians, responsible for the stewardship of God’s creation. In this collection of eight papers, written by a team of experts from a range of disciplines, we are presented with a variety of responses. The root causes of climate change are examined and the motives and methods behind current attempts to deal with it are assessed. The team includes theologians – Jonathan Draper, Tim Gorringe, Mary Grey, Sebastian Kim, Michael Northcott, Clive Pearson and Rowan Williams – alongside Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, BBC science producer Martin Redfern, and former Secretary of State for Environmental Development, Clare Short.

Rowan Williams looks at our responsibility for the environment, contesting the idea that God might protect us from failure in our duty of care; Gorringe at climate change in the light of the Book of Revelation (notably chapter eight); Grey at saving the planet in the light of Luke’s gospel, Redfern at hype and honesty, calling for an integrated approach to the problem from different bodies. Sauven calls for immediate action, Northcott and Pearson at the public role of the Church, and Short at the urgency and scale of human action needed to respond to this contemporary problem. 

The papers, which are well supported by an introduction and postscript, useful endnotes and a well-prepared index, were presented in the Ebor Lectures, an ecumenical and inter-faith series relating faith to public concerns given in York each year.

Luke Penkett

Monk and Priest working with L'Arche Community

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You are reading Issue 56 of Ministry Today, published in November 2012.

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