1st Edition

Christian Environmentalism and Human Responsibility in the 21st Century Questions of Stewardship and Accountability

Edited By Katherine M. Quinsey Copyright 2024
    252 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Christian Environmentalism and Human Responsibility in the 21st Century comprises original scholarly essays and creative works exploring the implications of Christian environmentalism through literary and cultural criticism and creative reflection.

    The volume draws on a flourishing recent body of Christian ecocriticism and environmental activity, incorporating both practical ethics and environmental spirituality, but with particular emphasis on the notion of human responsibility. It discusses responsibility in its dual sense, as both the recognized cause of environmental destruction and the ethical imperative of accountability to the nonhuman environment. The book crosses boundaries between traditional scholarly and creative reflection through a global range of topics: African oral tradition, Ohio artists off the grid, immigrant self-metaphors of land and sea, iconic writers from Milton to O’Connor to Atwood, and Indigenous Canadian models for listening to the nonhuman Mother of us all. In its incorporation of academic and creative pieces from scholars and creative artists across North America, this volume shows how environmental work of its nature and necessity crosses traditional academic and community boundaries. In both form and orientation, this collection speaks to the most urgent intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual needs of the present day.

    This book will appeal to scholars, researchers, and upper-level students interested in the relationship between religion and environment, ethics, animal welfare, poetry, memoir, and post-secularism.

    1. Introduction: Christian Environmentalism and Human Responsibility

    Katherine M. Quinsey and George Piggford, C.S.C.


    2. The Practice of Lavishing Attention

    Liane Miedema Brown


    3. An Ecocritical Reading of Jesus of the Deep Forest

    Susan VanZanten


    4. Waves and Refugees: Water Metaphors and Epistemological Humility in Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do

    Erin Goheen Glanville


    5. Poems by John Terpstra (I)      


    “Invasive Species”

    “Acknowledgment Close to the Ground”


    6. ‘Outrage from lifeless things’: Theodicy and the Anthropogenic Effects of the Fall in Paradise Lost

    Ben Faber


    7. Early Modern Reformed Theology and Nonhuman Animals

    Katherine M. Quinsey


    8. Bandits

    John Van Rys


    9. Paragon of Animals: An Afterword to “Bandits”

    John Van Rys


    10. From Grass to Galaxy: Alice Meynell’s Poetic Wayfaring in the Meshwork of the World

    Karen Dieleman


    11. Flannery O’Connor’s Integral Ecology

    George Piggford, C.S.C.


    12. “Can you make this all run again?” The Art and Environmentalism of Margo and Rein Vanderhill

    Samuel Martin


    13. Environments of Grace: Reflections on Sacramental Reality in the Work of Bruce Cockburn and David Adams Richards

    Norm Klassen


    14. Poems by John Terpstra (II)


    “A Brief History of Settlement on Hamilton Mountain, from 1789”

    “The Once and Future Creek”


    15. Birding, Fiction, and Margaret Atwood’s Cultivation of Ecological Awareness

    Tina Trigg


    16. “I just can’t get enough of this place”: The Gifts and Complications of John Terpstra’s Love of Hamilton

    Matthew Zantingh


    17. Can We Hear What the Land Is Saying? The Haudenosaunee Two Row Wampum and Via Negativa as Postures for Listening

    Daniel Coleman


    18. To Dwell Ecologically: The Practice of Re-enchantment

    Douglas Sikkema



    Deborah Bowen


    Katherine M. Quinsey is Professor Emerita in the English Department at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.