Item description for A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming by Sallie McFague...
Overview Climate change promises monumental changes to human and other planetary life in the next generations. Yet government, business, and individuals have been largely in denial of the possibility that global warming may put our species on the road to extinction. Further, says Sallie McFague, we have failed to see the real root of our behavioral troubles in an economic model that actually reflects distorted religious views of the person. At its heart, she maintains, global warming occurs because we lack an appropriate understanding of ourselves as inextricably bound to the planet and its systems. A New Climate for Theology not only traces the distorted notion of unlimited desire that fuels our market system; it also paints an alternative idea of what being human means and what a just and sustainable economy might mean. Convincing, specific, and wise, McFague argues for an alternative economic order and for our relational identity as part of an unfolding universe that expresses divine love and human freedom. It is a view that can inspire real change, an altered lifestyle, and a form of Christian discipleship and desire appropriate to who we really are.
Publishers Description Climate change promises monumental changes to human and other planetary life in the next generations. Yet government, business, and individuals have been largely in denial of the possibility that global warming may put our species on the road to extinction. Further, says Sallie McFague, we have failed to see the real root of our behavioral troubles in an economic model that actually reflects distorted religious views of the person. At its heart, she maintains, global warming occurs because we lack an appropriate understanding of ourselves as inextricably bound to the planet and its systems.A New Climate for Theology not only traces the distorted notion of unlimited desire that fuels our market system; it also paints an alternative idea of what being human means and what a just and sustainable economy might mean. Convincing, specific, and wise, McFague argues for an alternative economic order and for our relational identity as part of an unfolding universe that expresses divine love and human freedom. It is a view that can inspire real change, an altered lifestyle, and a form of Christian discipleship and desire appropriate to who we really are.Table of Contents PrefacePart One: The Science and its Significance for TheologyChapter 1: Climate Change: The Evidence and ConsequencesChapter 2: Global Warming: A Theological ProblemPart Two: Exploring God and the World within Climate ChangeChapter 3: Who Are We? Ecological AnthropologyChapter 4: Who Is God? Creation and ProvidenceChapter 5: How Shall We Live? Christianity and Planetary EconomicsPart Three: Serving God and City Living within Climate ChangeChapter 6: Why We Worship: Praise and Compassion as Intimations of TranscendenceChapter 7: Where We Live: Urban EcotheologyPart Four: Despair and Hope within Climate ChangeChapter 8: Is a Different World Possible? Human Dignity and the Integrity of Creation in a Time of Global WarmingChapter 9: ?The Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things: The Holy Spirit and Climate ChangeNotes
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Studio: Fortress Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2008
Publisher AUGSBURG FORTRESS PUB. #99
ISBN 0800662717 ISBN13 9780800662714
Availability 0 units.
More About Sallie McFague
Sallie McFague has been the Carpenter Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School, where she taught for thirty years. She is now distinguished theologian in residence at the Vancouver School of Theology in Vancouver, British Columbia. Among her many influential works, all from Fortress Press, are: Blessed are the Consumers (2013); Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril (2000); Super, Natural Christians: How We Should Love Nature (1997); The Body of God: An Ecological Theology (1993); Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age (1987), which received the American Academy of Religion's Award for Excellence; and Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language (1982).
Sallie McFague currently resides in Nashville. Sallie McFague has an academic affiliation as follows - Vancouver School of Theology.
Reviews - What do customers think about A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming?
Great as long as you don't take the metaphor too far Feb 6, 2010
Intent: The intention of this book is to awaken the readers to the seriousness of a problem already made aware and to provide a brief summary of how the problem of global warming might be controlled. Sallie McFague approaches the problem (and its solution) from a purely theological perspective, willing readers to altar their fundamental philosophies on life and community.
Audience: In this book, Sally McFague is writing to a particular geographical and socio-economic audience - middle-class Americans. This is stated explicitly in the introduction, as is an indication that the book is written for fellow theologians: "If theologians ... allow false, inappropriate, unhelpful, and dangerous notions of God and ourselves to continue as our society's assumptions, we are not doing our job." (emphasis added). Apart from this indication in the introduction, however, McFague's writing seems to be more oriented toward the educated layperson or casual theologian. Her "models of God" (ch. 4) assume the reader has placed little, if any, thought toward a proper articulation of theism. And yet, the linguistic style throughout the book implies a certain level of education.
Perspective: A New Climate for Theology is written from the perspective of a concerned and educated theologian trying to argue a case already in the forefront of the public sphere. Global warming is certainly not a new topic and McFague makes no attempts to present it as such. Rather instead, she acknowledges its establishment and attempts to end debate on the issue through the reformulation of theology in terms of ecology. Rather than deal extensively with particular forms of action, McFague argues from a moral and theological perspective that we simply have a duty to act, and leaves the subtleties of such action to the creative minds of her readers.
Limits and Critiques: Overall, McFague presents an interesting and compelling case for the transformation of human thought and action with regard to life within the ecological community abroad. However, her intentions for the book come up short in several areas. Throughout the book, it seems as though McFague is attempting to create a paradigm shift within the culture of western nations. However, her writing introduces several subtle (and perhaps unintentional) limitations to her audience that undermine this intention. For instance, early on in the book, in Chapter 2, she casually makes the statement "I would venture that many of us want such regulation," referring to governmental regulation of ecological standards. This stated assumption, though, is not universally held among peoples of the western nations, and would likely exclude the very groups whose thought she is trying to transform. Those who fall within the conservative camps of the United States (both from a political and theological perspective) rarely embrace increased regulation, and generally work hard to prevent it. Thus, this statement, combined with her express favoritism toward controversial theological camps such as ecofeminists and process theologians , creates the danger of limiting the audience to a group that already agrees with her basic argument.
Another limitation of her writing is seen through the casual reference to esoteric words. For instance, in Chapter 3 she refers to "biocracy" without definition or explanation. Certainly the roots to this word lend to a generalized understanding of McFague's intention in the minds of the readers; yet the book would be improved with a simple explanation. This is further evidenced when, throughout the book, she uses the word ecumenicity. Although this term is within the English language, it is rarely used and thus esoteric in nature. Yet, McFague employs its use four times in her writing, with the implied assumption that her readers are familiar with the word and it's definition. This assumed educational level of the reader serves to further limit her audience and thus helps undermine the basis for her argument.
Finally, McFague makes, in my opinion, a critical error in her argument through the contradictory use of logic. In Part III of the book she spends a great deal of real estate criticizing the study of theology, implying that thought exercises about God prevent us from acts of social and ecological justice. However, this discussion comes after an extensive, 3-chapter discourse on the theology of her argument. In fact, rarely does the book offer tangible forms of justice for the readers, other than the call to elect someone else to do the job. As a reader, I am left wondering how much of her day McFague spends thinking about these issues compared to actually doing something. If she lives up to what she preaches, it would be nice to read some of that in the book.
Affirmation and recommendation for use: Despite these limitations, though, A New Climate for Theology is a well-written and well-argued book. Even those who disagree with her proposed "world as God's body" model will agree that the book makes a compelling case for an increased care and respect of creation and life. Her references to outside agencies and reports are both reputable and authoritative. Already I have used parts of this book in a sermon preached to my own congregation, and I would recommend its use for both fellow pastors and concerned laypeople.
Well meaning, heart-felt, misled. Jul 13, 2009
This is an emotional, heart-felt outpouring that assumes the correctness of the dubious science that proclaims global warming (if it is in fact warming) caused by a misguided mankind. We have been selfish, wasteful, self-centered, greedy and now must bring about a new society. No thanks. What is needed is some hard-nosed thinking about doing things that can be done about the most grievous problems of the time, including malaria, bad water, overpopulation, misuse of land, especially in Africa, and runaway pollution especially in India and China.
Absolutely Fantastic! Feb 2, 2009
I cannot recommend this book enough! McFague writes an extremely compelling work on ecological theology and climate change. I have read many a book on the subject, and am writing my masters' thesis on the area, and this is one of the most insightful, relevant and powerful works I have come across, and I don't say this lightly. McFague offers a balanced view of the latest and best science on climate change, and then asserts that, though she cannot offer what scientists, engineers, and various innovators can in the practical application of changing the way we do business, she is responsible to deal with her area - theology - in light of environmental crisis. Thus, she seeks to change the way we think - about ourselves, about God, and about our relationships with the rest of life. Ultimately, she favors a recognition of our interconnection with all of life - it is not "us" and "nature" - we are part of nature...which is ultimately all within the "body of God." She effectively argues not only interconnection of all life, but our call to responsibly live within this interconnection, to act as stewards since we are the ones who have created the problem in the first place! It would be unfair to discuss all McFague's points in this book since part of the beauty of it is to become caught up in the experience of her exploration. Suffice it to say, this is an absolute "must read" for anyone interested in the area - destined to be a classic.
D. Ray Jul 8, 2008
This is an important and timely book. In it, Sallie McFague offers fresh insights into the challenges to contemporary existence posed by global warming, and she develops a theology that responds to those challenges with wisdom, imagination, and courage. Among other things, readers will appreciate the clarity of McFague's thinking, the accessibility of her writing, and the everyday usefulness of her theology.