Green Gospel

Foundations of Ecotheology

John Gatta

Mar/2024, 192 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640656628



An evocative investigation of ecotheology's first principles, Green Gospel will serve as antidote to the spiritual devastations of the climate crisis.

As climate change continues to ravage our planetary home, deepening the divide between Earth and her stewards, churched and unchurched seekers alike are casting about for a spirituality that focuses on the natural world. Just in time, Green Gospel opens a window into the developing realm of ecotheology, defining foundational principles and outlining how these tenets can be lived out through worship and individual practice. To help readers connect with otherwise challenging concepts, Gatta’s Green Gospel draws on illustrative examples from literary works and liturgical texts to transport readers through these artistic portals to a world lit up by God’s grace.

Perfect for parish reading groups or individual study, this encompassing yet compact introductory text unites the theological framework of the green movement with spiritual practice, setting forth a comprehensive vision that moves all the way from first principles of Christian doctrine to the practical consequences of today's pressing environmental issues.

John Gatta is an Emeritus Professor of English both at the University of Connecticut and at Sewanee: The University of the South, where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and guest lectured in the School of Theology. For decades he has been teaching and writing about topics related to American literature, the interplay between literature and Christian faith, and environmental matters. His publications include a numerous articles and six single-authored books, four of which address “green” topics. His first book, Gracious Laughter: the Meditative Wit of Edward Taylor, won the 1989 Academic Book-of-the Year Award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature. His work for non-academic audiences has appeared in The Living Church and in Baylor University’s Christian Reflection Series in Faith and Ethics. He lives in Tennessee.

“In Green Gospel, John Gatta, committed Christian and committed environmentalist, sets out to show that the two belong together. He succeeds admirably, drawing on a wide and deep knowledge of literature and theology to illustrate the implications of Christian orthodoxy. Yet this is also a generous book, generous to those of other faith traditions and of none, reminding us that Christian faith worthy of the name must believe in a God who wills fulfilment and glory for all humankind and also for every creature under the sun, all that God has created, sustained, and called ‘very good.’ I found Green Gospel both informative and interesting. More importantly, I found it inspiring.”—Christopher Bryan, C. K. Benedict Professor emeritus at Sewanee: The University of the South; author of The Resurrection of the Messiah and Son of God: Reflections on a Tradition

“With characteristic elegance, Gatta weaves together strands of our biblical and literary heritage into a rich tapestry of ecotheology. This volume addresses vital questions: How shall we live if we know that we must finally die? The wisdom in these pages will inform and guide readers for years to come.”—Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, missioner for Creation Care (Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts & Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ) and creation care adviser (Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts); coeditor of Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis


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