This page looks specifically at resources on environmental ethics and creation care. See also:
A Rocha International: Christians involved in conservation and environmental issues in over 20 countries, including Canada, the U.K., and the United States. Great resources for local churches interested in getting involved in environmental issues from a Christian perspective.
The Evangelical Environmental Network seeks to educate, inspire, and mobilize Christians to care for God’s creation and to be faithful stewards of God’s provision. The Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation is a great study tool for churches.
“‘Laudato si’ (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home,” is Pope Francis’ encyclical aimed to inspire everyone – not just Roman Catholics – to protect the Earth. Pope John Paul II (Centesimus annus #37-38) and Pope Paul VI (Octogesima adveniens #21) encouraged similar environmental concern.
Books and Journal Articles
Bell, Colin, Chaplin, Jonathan, White Robert (eds), Living Lightly, Living Faithfully (Cambridge: Faraday Institute. 2013 (free electronic download)). The authors argue that in sustainability and environment, scientific analysis and proposals can go hand in hand with religions’ pursuit of meaning, beauty and a better life. Though the situation facing us is challenging, we can retain hope and the motivation to look after our planet to the greatest extent still possible.
Berry. R.J. (Editor). The Care of Creation: Focusing Concern and Action. (Leicester: IVP. 2000). Starting from the Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation, this edited volume explores a theology of creation care and environmental ethics, biblical texts, and practical implications. A very readable, challenging collection suitable for personal or group reflection.
Bouma-Prediger, Steven. For the beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care. (Grand Rapids: Baker. 2001). Authentic Christian faith requires ecological obedience,” writes Steven Bouma-Prediger. He urges Christians to acknowledge their responsibility and privilege as stewards of the earth.
Bookless, David. Planetwise: Dare to care for God’s World. (London: IVP. 2008). An encouraging book on why and how we need to live as the stewards of creation that God made us, packed with helpful ideas and references. A great study book with questions at the end of each chapter.
Bredin, Mark. The Ecology of the New Testament. (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity. 2010). New Testament scholar Mark Bredin presents a biblical vsion of God as the Creator of all who cares deeply for all that he has made. Human greed and sin have resulted in the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and a shortage of food and clean water. Bredin argues Jesus teaches that those who are generous are blessed, and such generosity brings justice to all creation. To love God is to love all that he has made, from our own families to the soil outside our homes.
Campolo, Tony. How to Rescue the Earth without Worshiping Nature. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 1992). In typically provocative Campolo style, this book challenges us to take responsibility for caring for God’s creation. Campolo argues for a biblical perspective that recognizes the environment as God’s creation and argues each of us has a responsibility to care for God’s world.
Harris, Peter. Under the Bright Wings. (London: Hodder & Stoughton. 1993). The story of Peter and Miranda Harris’ pioneering Christian mission and environmental work, founding A Rocha International. An easy to read, challenging exploration of a theology of conservation and mission.
Houghton, John. Why care for the environment? (4 page download). “Global threats to the environment demand global solutions and sustainability provides the key. This paper surveys this challenge with particular reference to climate change, describing the perils of inaction and some strategies for addressing the problem. Those who believe in God as creator and sustainer have a powerful motivation to care for God’s earth, and to take action on behalf of the poor, those who suffer most from environmental degradation.”
Kirk, J.E. and D.R. Kirk. Cherish the Earth: The Environment and Scripture. (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 2016). Arguing that Christianity is inseparably linked to the natural world, the authors suggest people of faith contribute a unique perspective to earth stewardship, a ministry of praise and commitment. Christians are called to restore the land, to build and to plant, to use resources wisely, to marvel at the planet’s complexity and beauty, to accept that humans are part of an earth we need to cherish. Easy to read, it fills the need for devotional and small group study.
Houghton, John. Why Care for the Environment? (Faraday Papers) (Cambridge: Faraday Institute for Science and Religion). A short, readable introduction to the principles of Christian environmental stewardship.
Marlow, Hilary. Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2009). A biblical scholar, Marlow explores the Old Testament from an ecological perspective. Through a detailed exegetical study of the texts of the biblical prophets Amos, Hosea, and First Isaiah, Marlow examines the portrayal of the relationship between YHWH the God of Israel, humanity and the non-human creation. She discusses some key ethical debates in contemporary environmental theory in light of Old Testament literature.
Martin, Bruce. “Sustainable Development and the Kingdom of God.” (Missio Dei. Volume 4, 2014). A brief introduction to how a missional theological paradigm complements sustainable development.
Martin, Bruce. “Lord of Lark and Lightning: Reassessing Celtic Christianity’s Environmental Ethic.” (The Journal of Religion and Society. July 2004). Often Celtic Christianity is presented as an archetype of an environmentally-sensitive theology. While aspects of Celtic Christianity are relevant in contemporary discussion, the literature presents a more complex and nuanced relationship with the environment.
Northcott, M.S. The Environment and Christian Ethics. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1996). Northcott argues that Christianity has lost a biblical awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. He shows how Christian theologians and believers might recover a more ecologically-friendly belief system and life style. The author provides an important corrective to secular approaches to environmental ethics, including utilitarian individualism, animal rights theories and deep ecology.
Spencer, N, and B. White. Christianity, Climate Change, and Sustainable Living. (London: SPCK. 2007). Present patterns of consumption and production are no longer environmentally sustainable. The authors ask, What should Christians do to protect the Earth and its people? They analyze the scientific, sociological, economic, and theological thinking and offer practical conclusions that explore and explain what can be done at the personal, community, national, and international levels.
White, Robert (Editor). Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability. (London: SPCK. 2009). In this edited volume, geophysicist Bob White brings together a wonderful selection of chapters on issues leading to current environmental problems and potential solutions from a Christian perspective. World-class authors cover topics from climate change, population, agriculture, water, globalization, ethics, and eschatology.
Wilkinson, David. The Message of Creation. (Grand Rapids: Inter Varsity. 2002). Wilkinson traces the theme of creation through the rich tapestry of Scripture. With the mind of a theologian and a cosmologist, he listens to the message of creation and brings it into lively conversation with contemporary concerns. From the story of beginnings to the fulfillment of creation, we explore the hymns, the lessons and the splendor of the Lord of creation.
Wilkinson, L. and M. Wilkinson. Caring for Creation in your own Backyard. (Vancouver, BC: Regent College. 1998). Loren and Mary Wilkinson explore a Christian theology and creation care. And offer dozens of practical suggestions for how to live in God-honouring, sustainable ways.