Profile: Wendell Berry

Image courtesy of Hans Howe

Prolific American author Wendell Berry is known for his poetry, essays, novels and his activism. His experiences as the son of a farmer directed his work later in life as an author and activist. His activism began in 1968 with A Statement Against the War in Vietnam” which was published in 1969 in a collection of essays. His activism has continued throughout his career and he has taken a special interest in environmental issues.

His work has received numerous awards, most of which can be found here at a fan website. In addition to his many already published works, Mr. Berry has two books to be published in the next year: Fidelity: Five Stories (Aug 2018 – rerelease; original publication date 1992) and The Art of Loading Brush New Agrarian Writings (Jan 2019).

Beloved for his insightful and steady voice which argues for a profound reflection and connection with the earth, Berry has been an influential American voice through the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. There are many recommendations for the best place to start when reading Wendell Berry, but there is agreement that the most important thing is to start.

For Wendell Berry’s own website click here. A fan website has collected many online resources for those interested in Wendell Berry, which can be found here. Berry’s published work can be found from major booksellers and your favorite independent bookstore. Click here to be taken to his author page on Amazon.

University of Dayton Divests from Fossil Fuels

Image courtesy of udayton.edu

In June 2014, the University of Dayton became the first Catholic university in the United States to announce their divestment from coal and fossil fuels. Members of the university staff see this move as part of the university’s commitment to “being a responsible steward of the Earth’s natural resources.” This decision was commended by the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Their decision was one inspired by faith reflection as well as a commitment to financial stability for the university.

Beyond divesting from coal and fossil fuels, the university has taken further steps to move their campus toward efficiency and sustainability. A signatory of the of The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACU PCC) and a member of other sustainability committees, the university now has two full time employees who work to improve campus sustainability and offers academic programs in these areas as well.

The University of Dayton is also home to the Hanley Sustainability Institute.

Click here to be linked to The University of Dayton’s site on their efficiency and sustainability initiatives. Click here to be directed to the Hanley Institute homepage.

Evangelical Environmental Network: Resource Page

One book recommended by EEN. Image courtesy of creationcare.org.

The online resource page for the  Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) offers many helpful resources for clergy and lay persons looking to engage their faith with care of the environment.

This page gives introductory resources for those entering the conversation as well as practical implementation of creation care. Sermon starters and devotionals provide links for personal or community consideration of scripture and environment.  It also links to books recommended by the EEN in Creation Care, Food and Food Policy, National Parks and Public Lands, Sustainable Business, and Children’s books. This section of the page may be especially useful for those looking to do a book study in creation care.

Click here to be directed to the EEN’s resource page.

Presbyterian Eco Stewards

Presbyterians for Earth Care

Picture courtesy of presbyearthcare.org

The Eco–Stewards are a grassroots community that shapes young adult leaders through place-based experiences that connect faith and the environment. Each year, the Eco-Stewards program invites young adults to immerse themselves in a particular place to study an environmental theme. In 2018, the program will be held in Hawaii and is called Aloha ‘Aina, which means love of the earth. To read more or apply for the 2018 program, click here.

Environmental Theology in Sikhism

Picture courtesy of ecosikh.org

The Sikh scripture declares that the purpose of human beings is to achieve a blissful state and be in harmony with the earth and all creation. They believe that humans have drifted away from that ideal and that this crisis is in need of an immediate and urgent solution. The crisis requires going back to the basic question of the purpose of human beings in this universe and an understanding of ourselves and the Divine creation. To read the entire theology from EcoSikh, click here.

“Creating the world, God has made it a place to practice spirituality”

-Guru Granth Sahib, page 1035

Qur’an Creation & Conservation

Picture courtesy of ifees.org.uk

Qur’an Creation & Conservation is in introduction to the ethical foundations of Islamic environmentalism from the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science. It discusses creation, corruption, balance, and the many parts that make up these three categories. To read the entire document, click here.

Perspectives on Economic Justice and Climate Change

Picture courtesy of http://operationnoah.org/

This article on economic justice and climate change offers quotes from economists, theologians, and politicians. Some examples include the World Council of Churches, Pope John Paul II, and Professor Tim Jackson. To view all the quotations, click here.

How Green is your Church?

Picture courtesy of http://operationnoah.org/

How Green is your Church is a questionnaire from Operation Noah that covers how environmentally conscious a church is. It is in check-list form and it’s purpose is to allow congregations to assess their starting point with environmental issues. To view the entire questionnaire, click here.

Bright Now: Towards Fossil Free Churches

Cover of the Bright Now report

Picture courtesy of operationnoah.org

Bright Now: Towards Fossil Free Churches is a campaign from Operation Noah on the necessity for churches to divest from fossil fuel companies. This initiative is based on the belief that the care for God’s creation must extend to the way in which churches invest their funds. The campaign includes a report on the urgency of the issue, a reflective paper on the ethics of fossil fuels, and tools to help divest a church from fossil fuels. To read more, click here.

Caring for our Neighbors Bible Study

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This bible study from Operation Noah discusses caring for our neighbors. It begins by recommending to read Romans 8: 18-21 and Luke 10:25-37 and then goes on to discuss both passages. To read the entire Bible Study, click here.