Exploring ways of conceiving the complexity and multiplicity of humans’ many interactive relationships with the environment, the contributors provide in-depth case studies of the interweaving of culture and nature in socio-historical processes. The case studies focus on the origin of environmental movements, the politicization of environmental issues in city politics, the development of a local energy production system, and the convergence of forest management practices toward a dominant scheme. They are supported by explorations of big-picture issues: recurring themes in studies of social and environmental dynamics, the difficulties of deliberative democracy, and the potential gains for socio-ecological research offered by developmental systems theory and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of intentionality.
How Nature Speaks includes a helpful primer, “On Thinking Dynamically about the Human Ecological Condition,” which explains the basic principles of complexity and nonlinear thinking.
Contributors. Chuck Dyke, Yrjö Haila, Ari Jokinen, Ville Lähde, Markus Laine, Iordanis Marcoulatos, John O’Neill, Susan Oyama, Taru Peltola, Lasse Peltonen, John Shotter, Peter Taylor
Creation theology helps believers come to a stronger sense of their own identity as they come to an awareness of the world. This enables them to gain a deeper insight into how they ought to relate to that world if they wish to find meaning in their lives. This state of being requires a willingness to distinguish between the medium and the message in approaching the Scriptures. It also requires a willingness to take the sciences seriously.
In The Gift of Being, Hayes focuses on traditional questions of creation, but also comments on where science is with creation, anthropology, and destiny. He begins by discussing the relation between faith and reason, and hence between theology and science, from a historical perspective, moving to the most current statements of modern Popes. He follows with a summary statement of the possible retrieval of the biblical religious insights that can be distinguished from the physical worldview that stands behind much of the biblical material. This allows for a discussion of the traditional concept of creation from nothing in the form of a conversation with contemporary physics. He then discusses the Christian idea of God as the primal mystery of creative love from whom all of creation flows. With these foundational ideas in place, Hayes looks at such questions as the origin of humanity and the failure of humanity throughout history. He then focuses on the tradition of cosmic Christology. Finally, the theological issues of the final outcome of God's creation and its history is discussed against the background of the current scientific projections of a future for the cosmos.
Chapters are Science, the Bible, and Christianity," "The Vision of the Hebrew Scriptures," "Creation and the Christian Scriptures," "Creation from Nothing," "The Triune God, the Creator," "Humanity in the Cosmic Context," "Sin and Evil," "Christ and the Cosmos," and "Creation and the Future."
Zachary Hayes, OFM, PhD, is professor of systematic theology at Catholic Theological Union. He has taught and written extensively on matters related to the theological understanding of creation and the relation between theology and science. He is on the staff of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. He is the author of Visions of a Future: A Study of Christian Eschatologyfrom the New Theology Studiesseries published by The Liturgical Press.
Through a marvelous combination of brilliant writing, story, reflection, and unabashed questioning of old shibboleths, Keller redeems theology from its dry and predictable categories to reveal what has always been at the heart of the theological enterprise: a personal search for intellectually honest and credible ways of making sense of the loving mystery that encompasses even our confounding times.
Keller calls for dissolving the opposition between the religious and the secular in favor of a broad planetary movement for social and ecological justice. When we are confronted by populist, authoritarian right wings founded on white male Christian supremacism, we can counter with a messianically charged, often unspoken theology of the now-moment, calling for a complex new public. Such a political theology of the earth activates the world’s entangled populations, joined in solidarity and committed to revolutionary solutions to the entwined crises of the Anthropocene.
Catherine Keller brings process, feminist, and ecopolitical theologies into transdisciplinary conversation with continental philosophy, the quantum entanglements of a "participatory universe," and the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, Walt Whitman, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and Judith Butler, to develop a "theopoetics of nonseparable difference." Global movements, personal embroilments, religious diversity, the inextricable relations of humans and nonhumans--these phenomena, in their unsettling togetherness, are exceeding our capacity to know and manage. By staging a series of encounters between the nonseparable and the nonknowable, Keller shows what can be born from our cloudiest entanglement.