Love God Heal Earth: 21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out on Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment by the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham brings together 21 highly regarded spiritual leaders from diverse faiths to make the case for environmental stewardship and show how their faith communities are tackling the issue of religion and environment.
Foremost religious leaders from diverse faith communities respond to the most controversial question of our time: Can we save the earth? The answer could hinge on the phenomenon of the fast-growing interfaith religious environmental movement.
Love God Heal Earth”Love God, Heal Earth is a historically important contribution. Its authors of diverse faiths recognize that protecting the planet and all of life is a transcendent responsibility – for both the scientists who study it and those of religious faith who are able to express its spiritual importance.” –E.O. Wilson, Harvard biologist and naturalist, author of The Creation: an Appeal to Save Life on Earth
“Love God, Heal Earth features some of the clearest and most compelling voices in the emerging creation care movement–a unifying and rallying point for people of faith from across diverse traditions.” –Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners, author of The Great Awakening.
Climate Guardians: Thoughts and Actions for People of Faith, by David Cain, consists of seven brief essays about the intersection of the climate crisis with issues of faith. In response to the worsening climate emergency, the author hopes his book will inspire members of faith communities to take action on behalf of the global environment. “As science has gotten closer and closer to pinning down the reality of human-caused climate change and its consequences,” Cain writes, “our moral certitude has frayed.” This brief, eloquent book attempts to address the issues by sketching a moral arc. Climate Guardians offers inspiration and guidance for readers willing to commit to activism.
Open Midnight; Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet by Brooke Williams. A memoir of wilderness, metaphysical transformation, ancestral immigration, and Charles Darwin Open Midnight weaves two parallel stories about the great wilderness—Brooke Williams’s year alone with his dog, ground truthing backcountry maps of southern Utah, and that of his great-great-great-grandfather, William Williams, who in 1863 made his way with a group of Mormons from England across the ocean and the American wild almost to Utah, dying a week short. The story follows two levels of history—personal, as represented by his forbear, and collective, as represented by Charles Darwin, who lived in Shrewsbury, England, at about the same time as William Williams.
Re:FORM: The Decline of American Evangelicalism and a Path for the New Generation to Re:Form Their Faith by Tri Robinson Based on the state of our world’s culture, there’s no denying that the evangelical church in America is standing at an important crossroads. But how did it get here? And where exactly is here? Better yet, how does the church move forward? Pastor Tri Robinson answers all these questions in a modern-day treatise that challenges pastors and church members alike to find common ground and blaze a new trail for evangelicals in the 21st Century.
Sacred Acts: How churches are working to protect Earth’s climate by Mallory McDuff offers stories (including several from Interfaith Power & Light affiliates) about how religious leaders, activists, and everyday parishioners are acting in good faith to define a new environmental movement where honoring the Creator means protecting the planet. Includes a foreword by Bill McKibben and an afterword by the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham.
Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change by Stephen Jurovics. Most books about climate change that include a religious argument do not address what individuals can do to help our society transform from fossil fuel use, other than changing personal behavior—and readers suspect that will likely not suffice. Thus, some readers are left feeling disheartened. In contrast, books that primarily address the environmental issues have limited appeal to people motivated more by faith than science, thereby leaving out many who could bring us to that tipping point. Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change seeks to fill the gap in religious and secular texts by providing both a compelling biblical case for action on climate change and by identifying substantive measures to mitigate climate change and how to achieve their implementation.
Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth a collection of essays by leading spiritual teachers and others showing the deep connection between our present ecological crisis and our lack of awareness of the sacred nature of creation, this series of essays from spiritual and environmental leaders around the world shows how humanity can transform its relationship with the Earth. Combining the thoughts and beliefs from a diverse range of essayists, this collection highlights the current ecological crisis and articulates a much needed spiritual response to it. Perspectives from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American beliefs as well as physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, make this a well rounded contribution.Contributors: Susan Murphy Roshi, Fr. Richard Rohr, Vandana Shiva, Chief Oren Lyons, Thomas Berry, Thich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry, Winona LaDuke, Brian Swimme, Satish Kumar, Joanna Macy, Bill Plotkin, Sandra Ingerman, Jules Cashford, Geneen Marie Haugen, John Stanley, Chief Tamale Bwoya, Sister Miriam MacGillis, David Loy, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan and Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.
Moral Ground is a book that brings together the testimony of more than eighty visionaries-theologians and religious leaders, naturalists, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, activists, and writers-to present a compelling call to honor our individual and collective moral responsibility to the planet. In the face of environmental degradation, species extinction, and climate change, scientific knowledge alone does not tell us what we ought to do. Nor can political processes or economic incentives give us all the answers. The missing premise of the argument and the much-needed centerpiece in the debate to date has been the need for ethical values, moral guidance, and principled reasons for doing the right thing for the future of our planet, its animals, its plants, and its people.
Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living offers expert advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists on the best ways to reduce your global warming emissions. Based on an in-depth, two-year study, this new book shows you the most effective strategies for reducing your global warming emissions, and how to take action at work, in your community, and politically. You’ll find answers to such questions as: Do books or e-readers cause more emissions? Is it worth washing clothes in cold water? Is buying organic cotton really a better option for the climate?
Natural Saints: How People of Faith Are Working to Save God’s Earth, by Mallory McDuff, includes the stories of Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) affiliates helping to shape a religious environmental movement across the country, where justice as a priority for congregations means a clean and safe environment for all. This book highlights eight key ministries: protecting human dignity, feeding the hungry, responding to natural disasters, seeking justice, making a pilgrimage, creating sacred spaces, educating youth, and bearing witness.
Claiming Earth as Common Ground, by Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener, gathers insights from ecology coalitions, emerging theologies, and spiritual and environmental activists to rally and inspire us to work across denominational lines in order to fulfill our sacred imperative to care for God’s creation. Cohen-Kiener and contributors clearly outline the shared values of our faith traditions that drive our commitment to care for the earth. Acknowledging the challenges in working together to implement positive change, they present steps-both big and small, for individuals and groups-for reversing our direction from consumption to sustainability.
Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy, by Peter G. Brown and Geoffrey Carver, uses the core Quaker principle of “right relationship”-interacting in a way that is respectful to all and that aids the common good-as the foundation for a new economic model. Right Relationship poses five basic questions: What is an economy for? How does it work? How big is too big? What’s fair? And how can it best be governed?
A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, by Katharine Hayhoe and Andrew Farley, untangles the complex science and tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming. Authored by a climate scientist and a pastor, A Climate for Change boldly explores the role of the Christian faith can play in guiding our opinions on this important global issue.
The Heart of Sustainability by Andres R. Edwards, delves into the human dimension of this burgeoning international movement to build a better world. Author Andres Edwards frames the conversation about consciousness and sustainability by: Explaining how self-development is a key driver for planetary change. Describing how the confluence of the consciousness and technological revolutions provide unique opportunities for balance and fulfillment. Exploring how we can move forward individually and collectively to create a thriving, livable future from the inside out.
The Land of Curiosities, by Deanna Neil, is the first tale in a series of highly-acclaimed eco-adventures that explore themes like the relationship between faith and ecology. This is a great gift to teach environmental history and promote eco-values for young readers. Join the Clifton family as they explore Yellowstone the year that it is declared the world’s first national park. In their first adventure, James and Alice must ultimately learn to protect each other and the environment as they uncover the evil plot of Billy “Bloody” Knuckles. Click here to order. Interfaith Power and Light gets $5 for each purchase through this site. Be sure and type “Interfaith Power and Light” in the designated field during the purchase process.
Energy Savings For The Novice, by Dennis Fijalkowski and Mary Steele. Saving energy can be fun! Make it a family activity! Teach your children and grandchildren the value of saving money and protecting the planet. You will find as your energy saving activities increase so does your wealth. Use this newly created wealth to fund other things such as vacations, college education or energy saving home improvements. “Energy Savings” reveals how enlightened Americans are taking steps to reduce their dependence on petroleum. Additional ways to conserve energy include personal transportation, water conservation, landscaping to save energy and energy sources for the future.
The Green Bible, ed. by Harper One, is a Green Letter Edition of the NRSV Bible with verses that speak to God’s care for creation highlighted in green. The Bible includes a topical index and green Bible trail study guide, and inspirational essays from leaders and thinkers. Printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper.
Your Will Be Done on Earth: Eco-Spiritual Activities for 12-15 Year-Olds, by Christie L. Jenkins, is an excellent resource for anyone working with youth. Relevant religious and scientific background is provided for each activity. The Lessons include Purpose, Teacher Outlines, Resource Sheets, and Discussion Questions. Closely incorporates scripture.
Caring for God’s World: Creative Ecology Ideas For Your Church, edited by Kristin Kemper. This 100-page guide is divided into children and youth sections, each containing several games, activities, crafts, songs, plays, and youth liturgies. An older resource, but still relevant.
Operation Creation, by Barb Holtz with Jody Gunn and David Radcliff, is a five-session care for creation curriculum for elementary children provided by the New Community Project. This14-page PDF resuorce contains lesson plans for children. Each includes an introduction, scripture, prayer, craft, activity/snack, story, mission, closing, and take-home assignment.
Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children, by Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac, helps children connect with the natural world while telling important environmental concepts. Each section contains a Native American story, discussion ideas, interesting questions, and related indoor and outdoor activities.
Honi the Circlemaker: Eco-Fables from Ancient Israel, by Barry Schwartz, retells the wondrous deeds of Honi-the-Circlemaker, who wandered over the land of ancient Israel planting carob seeds and spreading goodwill.
Traditional Tree Tales from the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education contains three short tales adapted from the Talmud or traditional Jewish fairy tales. These short and simple stories can be told to young children or acted out.
Let’s Explore God’s World, by Debby Anderson, is an energetic romp across God’s wide, wonderful planet prompts kids to join in the experience of nature while cheerfully guiding them in the adventure of caring for his world. Combining an instructional focus on the five senses with a spiritual focus on God’s gift of life, the book encourages kids and caring adults to have a blast exploring–and learning to protect–our earthly home.
The North Pole is Sinking! A Tale about Global Warming, by Ethan Khiem Matasuda and Michael Matasuda, is written by a schoolteacher and his son. This engaging children’s book helps children understand their roles as global citizens, the big picture of global warming, and the importance of making a contribution.
Wicked Cool Sustainable Solutions for the Earth Coloring Book, by Becky Johnson, is an engaging, creative tool to get kids thinking about their impact on the Earth. This terrific classroom or home-schooling resource includes sections on Local Environment, Food, Conscious Consuming, Energy, Transportation, and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Ecology Crafts for Kids: 50 Great Ways to Make Friends with Planet Earth, by Bobbie Needham, is a colorful, user-friendly book full of large photographs and easy step-by-step instructions to make crafts from recycled or reused materials (and bits of nature). Projects include gift wrap, planters, envelopes, bird feeders, mosaics, puppets, and candles.
Play Lightly on the Earth: Nature Activites for Children 3 to 9 Years Old, by Jacqueline Horsfall, provides ideas for outdoor activities with an emphasis on learning and exploring while minimizing one’s impact. Each activity contains an objective, preperations, options and discussion questions well-suited for young children.
Journey for the Planet: A Kid’s Five Week Adventure to Create and Earth-Friendly Life, by David Gershon, is another useful guidebook full of earth-actions for kids, complete with reasons behind each action, materials needed, time, and fun illustrations.
Greening Congregations Handbook: Stories, Ideas, and Resources for Cultivating Creation Awareness and Care in Your Congregations is a 225 page handbook from Earth Ministry that is a “tool box” for all who want to foster creation awareness and care in their congregations. It helps readers actively respond to the question, “Why should people of faith care for creation?” and also helps congregations develop an enduring, creation-honoring focus within all dimensions of congregational life, including worship and education, facilities and institutional life, community outreach, and denominational, ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
Cherish the Gift: A Congregational Guide to Earth Stewardship by Cindy Ubben Causey is a 150 page, comprehensive guide to planning earth stewardship within a congregation. Its chapters canvass most areas of a congregation and offer practical ideas for change. Education, property, worship, nursery, retreats, publicity, and outreach are just a few of the chapters.
Footprint Files: Ideas to Help Congregations Care for Creation and Reduce their Footprint is a superb compendium of ideas, reflections, activities, and tips to help congregations care for creation rather than destroy it. Provided by the Diocesan Environmental Commission of British Columbia, this resource is beautifully presented with illustrations and is very useful for various groups, including clergy, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, social action committees, councils, and parishoners. Each copy includes electronic resources for distribution.
What on Earth Can You Do? Making Your Church a Creation Awareness Center by Donna Lehman is a 200 page book that combines personal stories of stewardship with denominational insights and ideas from brainstorming sessions for ways that congregations can minister to creation.
Climate and Church: How Global Climate Change will Impact Core Church Ministries by the National Council of Churches‘ Eco-Justice Program effectively explains how climate change will impact church ministries through disaster relief, Refugee Resettlement, and Fodd Security issues. An excellent resource for clergy and church leaders.
God’s Creation and Global Warming: What song are we singing in this warming world? This is a 28-slide powr point presentation that can be used or modified for a congreagtion’s needs. It is comprised almost entirely of quotes from either scripture, theologians, authors, politicians and scientists to paint a thorough view of climate change and the need for a religious response.
The Cry of Creation: Global Warming and Global Justice by the Interfaith Climate Change Network is an eight page document that explains how and why global warming disproportionately affects the poor, ending with solutions.
101 Ways to Help Save the Earth: with fifty-two Weeks of Congregational Activities to Save the Earth offers 101 ways individuals can change their daily habits for environmental stewardship, and includes 52 weeks of congregational activities. Published jointly by the Greenhouse Crisis Foundation and the Eco-Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches.
Global Warming Actions Kits Vol 1 & Vol 2 from the Unitarian Univeralist Ministry for the Earth are full of creative ideas and ready-to-use resources. Plays, songs, sermons, community projects, lightbulb sales, carpooling, caluculating carbon footprints, and more. Dozens of actions, easily adaptable to different congregations.
Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action, ed. Libby Bassett, et al.is an eighty-page book published by the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) publishedon the world’s religions and ecology for congregational discussions and services. This books provides a brief overview of contemporary environmental issues and examines the efforts of the United Nations (UN) in addressing these important situations. theough the use of primary religious texts, it provides a unified religious theme of human responsibility for protecting the natural world.
Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin. This book is not about living in poverty; it is about living in balance. The book illustrates the pattern of changes that an increasing number of people around the world are making in their everyday lives-adjustments in day-to-day living that are an active, postive response to the complex dilemmas of our time. By embracing a lifeway of voluntary simplicity-characterized by ecological awareness, frugal consumption, and personal growth-people can change their lives. And in the process change the world.
The books listed here are of a more academic bent
Barnhill, David Landis, and Roger S. Gottlieb, eds. Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001.
Bassett, Libby, John Brinkman, and Kusumita Pederson, Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action. UN Environmental Programme, 2000.
Benstein, Jeremy. The Way into Judaism and the Environment. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 2008.
Bernstein, Ellen. The Splendor of Creation: A Biblical Ecology. Cleveland: Pilgrim, 2005.
Bernstein, Ellen, ed. Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 2000.
Berry, Thomas and Mary Evelyn Tucker. The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-first Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.
Berry, Thomas, ed. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2009.
Berry, Thomas. The Dream of the Earth. Second ed. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2006.
Bingham, Sally G., ed. Love God, Heal Earth: 21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out on Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment. Pittsburgh: St. Lynn’s Press, 2009.
Chryssavgis, John, ed. Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I. Second ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009.
Cobb, Jr., John B., ed. Resistance: The New Role of Progressive Christians. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
Dewitt, Calvin B. Earth-Wise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues. Second ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2007.
Deane-Drummond, Celia. Eco-Theology. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2008.
Dien, Mawil Izzi. The Environmental Dimensions of Islam. Cambridge, England: Lutterworth, 2000.
Edwards, Denis. Ecology at the Heart of Faith: The Change of Heart That Leads to a New Way of Living on Earth. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2006.
Foltz, Richard C., Frederick M. Denny, and Azizan Baharuddin. Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust. Cambridge, MA: Center for the Study of World Religions, 2003.
Foltz, Richard C., ed. Worldviews, Religion, and the Environment: A Global Anthology. Florence, KY: Wadsworth, 2002.
Gosling, David L. Religion and Ecology in India and Southeast Asia. London: Routledge, 2001.
Gottlieb, Roger. A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future. New York: Oxford, 2006.
Gottlieb, Roger S., ed. This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment. London: Routledge, 2003.
Hessel, Dieter, and Larry Rasmussen, eds. Earth Habitat: Eco-Injustice and the Church’s Response. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.
Hosenfeld, Charlotte. Ecofaith: Creating and Sustaining Green Congregations. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2009.
Kaza, Stephanie. Mindfully Green: A Personal and Spiritual Guide to Whole Earth Thinking. Boston: Shambala, 2008.
Kearns, Laurel, and Catherine Keller, eds. Ecospirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth. New York: Fordham University Press, 2007.
Krause, Tina B., ed. Care of the Earth: An Environmental Resource Manual for Church Leaders. Chicago: Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1994.
Maguire, Daniel C., and Larry L. Rasmussen. Ethics for a Small Planet: New Horizons on Population, Consumption, and Ecology. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993.
Matthews, Clifford N., Mary Evelyn Tucker, and Philip Hefner, eds. When Worlds Converge: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Story of the Universe and Our Place in It. Chicago: Open Court, 2002.
McFague, Sallie. A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008.
McFague, Sallie. Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.
McFague, Sallie. The Body of God: An Ecological Theology. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1993.
McKibben, Bill. The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publication, 2005.
Newell, J. Philip. Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2008.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing. San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1992.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford, ed. Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism, and Religion. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996.
Schwartz, Richard H. Judaism and Global Survival. New York: Lantern Books, 2002.
Sleeth, J. Matthew. Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2006.
Sleeth, J. Matthew. The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book Is a Green Book. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.
Swimme, Brian. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996.
Tucker, Mary Evelyn, commentary by Judith A. Berling. Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase. Chicago: Open Court, 2003.
Tucker, Mary Evelyn, and John A. Grim, eds. Worldviews and Ecology: Religion, Philosophy, and the Environment. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1994.
Wildcat, Daniel R. Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge. Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 2009.
Wirzba, Norman. The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age. New York: Oxford, 2003.
See also the Harvard University Press series on Religions of the World and Ecology, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Indigenous Traditions, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, and books of collected essays on related topics.