Theological Perspectives on the Environment


Books on the environment from a Christian perspective range from popular how-to manuals to sophisticated theological treatises. Theological works often engage the reader in serious thinking that is lacking in more popular books. The way we think about the environment is a function of the way we think about the Christian faith-and thinking about the faith is what theology is all about. However, there are different ways of going about doing theology, which are reflected in the following selected bibliography. Each approach offers valuable insights. Since theologians often employ various methods, the following categories are only suggestive of the approach of each book.

"The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it." (Psalm 24:1 NRSV)



Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans, ed. Dieter Hessel and Rosemary Radford Ruether (Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, 2000).

Ecology, Justice, and Christian Faith: A Critical Guide to the Literature, by Peter W. Bakken, Joan Gibb Engel, and J. Ronald Engel (Greenwood Press, 1995).

Evocations of Grace: The Writings of Joseph Sittler on Ecology, Theology, Ethics (Eerdmans, 2000).

The Greening of Theology, by Steven Bouma-Prediger (Scholars Press, 1995).

Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition, by Wendell Berry (Counterpoint, 2000).


Animal Theology

Animal Gospel, by Andrew Linzey (Westminster/John Knox, 1998).

Animals on the Agenda, ed. Andrew Linzey and Dorothy Yamamoto (University of Illinois Press, 1998).

Christianity and the Rights of Animals, by Andrew Linzey (Crossroad, 1991).


Biblical Theology

The Environment & the Christian: What Can We Learn from the New Testament, ed. Calvin DeWitt (Baker Book House, 1991).

Hope for the Land: Nature in the Bible, by Richard Cartwright Austin (John Knox, 1988).

The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith, Overtures to Biblical Theology, by Walter Brueggemann (Fortress, 1977).


Ecumenical Theology

Caring for Creation: An Ecumenical Approach to the Environmental Crisis, by Max Oelschlaeger (Yale University Press, 1994).

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance, by Matthew Fox (Harper & Row, 1988).

Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, by Matthew Fox (HarperSanFrancisco, 1991).

The Dream of the Earth, by Thomas Berry (Sierra Club Books, 1988).


Evangelical Theology

Earth Is The Lord's: Christians and the Environment, ed. Richard D. Land and Louis A. Moore (Broadman, 1992).

Earthkeeping in the Nineties: Stewardship of Creation, ed. Loren Wilkenson (Eerdmans, 1991).

Ecology and Life: Accepting Our Environmental Responsibility, by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson (Word, 1988).

Pollution and the Death of Man: The Christian View of Ecology, by Francis A. Schaeffer (Tyndale, 1970).

A Worldly Spirituality: The Call to Take Care of the Earth, by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson (Harper & Row, 1984).


Feminist Theology

The Body of God: An Ecological Theology, by Sallie McFague (Fortress, 1993).

Gaia & God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing, by Rosemary Radford Ruether (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992).

Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril, by Sallie McFague (Fortress, 2000).


Historical Theology

St. Francis of Assisi and Nature: Tradition and Innovation in Western Christian Attitudes toward the Environment, by Roger D. Sorrell (Oxford University Press, 1988).

The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology, by H. Paul Santmire (Fortress, 1985).

The Yahwist's Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel, by Theodore Hiebert (Oxford University Press, 1996).


Liberation Theology

Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, by Leonardo Boff (Orbis, 1997).

Listen to the Crying of the Earth: Cultivating Creation Communities, by Alvin Pitcher (Pilgrim Press, 1993).

Redeeming the Time: A Political Theology of the Environment, by Stephen Bede Scharper (Continuum, 1997).


Narrative Theology

Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights, by Richard Alan Young (Open Court, 1999).

Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology, by H. Paul Santmire (Fortress, 2000).


Neoorthodox Theology

Maker of Heaven and Earth: A Study of the Christian Doctrine of Creation, by Langdon Gilkey (Doubleday, 1959).

Theology of Nature, by George S. Hendry (Westminster, 1980).


Process Theology

Is It Too Late? A Theology of Ecology, by John Cobb (Bruce, 1972).

Of God and Pelicans: A Theology of Reverence for Life, by Jay McDaniel (Westminster/John Knox, 1989).

Sustainability: Economics, Ecology, and Justice, by John Cobb (Orbis, 1992).


Theocentric Theology

Healing the Earth: A Theocentric Perspective on Environmental Problems and Their Solutions, by Richard A. Young (Broadman & Holman, 1994).

A Sense of the Divine: The Natural Environment from a Theocentric Perspective, by James Gustafson (Pilgrim Press, 1994).


Theological Ethics

Earth Community, Earth Ethics, by Larry L. Rasmussen (Orbis, 1996).

Ecology and Human Need, by Thomas Derr (Westminster, 1973).

The Environment and Christian Ethics, by Michael S. Northcott (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Imaging God: Dominion as Stewardship, by Douglas John Hall (Eerdmans, 1986).

Loving Nature: Ecological Integrity and Christian Responsibility, by James A. Nash (Abingdon, 1991).


Theology of Hope

God in Creation: An Ecological Doctrine of Creation, by J├╝rgen Moltmann (Fortress, 1985).


Theology, Science, and Ecology

Befriending the Earth: A Theology of Reconciliation between Humans and the Earth, by Thomas Berry (Twenty-Third Publications, 1991).

Nature, Reality, and the Sacred: The Nexus of Science and Religion, by Langdon Gilkey (Fortress, 1993).

Romancing the Universe: Theology, Science, and Cosmology, by Jeffrey G. Sobosan (Eerdmans, 1999).

Toward a Theology of Nature: Essays on Science and Faith, by Wolfart Pannenberg (Westminster/John Knox, 1993).


EarthCare Resource Guide no. 4
August 2001
This guide was compiled by Richard Alan Young, author of Healing the Earth and Is God a Vegetarian?.
It is a publication of EarthCare, Inc., 2201 Spencer Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37421-2433;
Email: ; Phone: Chattanooga, TN: (423) 697-2560; Dalton, GA (706) 278-3979
Availability: Books that are still in print can be purchased through local bookstores or through the internet at or Books that are out of print can often be purchased from used bookstores through Many of the books can be borrowed from libraries in your area (often through the interlibrary loan system).