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Claiming Earth as Common Ground

The Ecological Crisis through the Lens of Faith

Andrea Cohen-Kiener
Foreword by Rev. Sally Bingham

6 x 9, 192 pp, Quality PB
978-1-59473-261-4

     

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A “Top 10 Book for Enlightenment and Hope.”   —Read the Spirit

Can religious people save the environment?
Can the environmental challenge save religion?

Our planet is in trouble, and it will take an amazingly large and powerful force to shift into a more sustainable way of living. Spiritual leader and environmental activist Andrea Cohen-Kiener tells us that people of faith have the numbers, the passion, and the mandate to do it—and that nothing else is strong enough to counterbalance “business as usual.”

In this urgent call to action, Cohen-Kiener gathers insights from ecology coalitions, emerging theologies, and spiritual and environmental activists to rally and inspire us to work across denominational lines in order to fulfill our sacred imperative to care for God’s creation. Cohen-Kiener and contributors clearly outline the shared values of our faith traditions that drive our commitment to care for the earth. Acknowledging the challenges in working together to implement positive change, they present steps—both big and small, for individuals and groups—for reversing our direction from consumption to sustainability.

Contributors  include:

  • Rev. Woody Bartlett, founder, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light
  • Rev. Tom Carr, National Council of Churches Working Group on the Environment
  • Rev. Donna Schaper, senior minister, Judson Memorial Church, New York City
  • Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Religious Witness for the Earth
  • Eboo Patel, executive director, Interfaith Youth Core
  • Dr. Lowell “Rusty” Pritchard, national director of outreach, Evangelical Environmental Network

“The people and ideas captured here are at the heart of transforming our tired and broken relationship with the planet we live on. It’s a vital book.”

Bill McKibben, author, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

“An exquisite interweaving of stories and insights … inspires us, as the Prophet Muhammad said, to move from knowledge of tongue to knowledge of heart.”

Sheikh Jamal Rahman, Interfaith Community Church, Seattle; coauthor, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi and a Sheikh

“Helps the reader understand ecological issues from a variety of perspectives.”

Living Church

“A stirring theological and spiritual exploration of one of the most pressing moral issues of our day—our relationship to God’s creation. Deep, yet easy to read; stirring yet hopeful. [It] will touch your soul as well as your heart, head, hands and feet!”

Rev. Jennifer Butler, executive director, Faith in Public Life

“Heartfelt.... A helpful first step to thinking theologically about ecology and other religions.”

Englewood Review of Books

“Beautifully, passionately written.… Does a brilliant job of explaining why we no longer have the ‘luxury’ of allowing our various religious beliefs to separate us, but must use our shared earth as a reason to bring us together. This is not a harangue; it’s a love story.”

John Lionberger, author, Renewal in the Wilderness: A Spiritual Guide to Connecting with God in the Natural World; founder, Renewal in the Wilderness

 “There are few things more significant than finding common ground among religious communities for caring for our planet. This book is a valuable contribution in this direction.”

Mary Evelyn Tucker, PhD, Forum on Religion and Ecology,Yale University;
author, Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase

“Excels beyond the boundaries of any tradition in teaching the process of healing our wounded earth as both intimate—embodied in our every act—and macrocosmic—rooted in God’s beneficence and magnificence.”

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director, The Shalom Center (www.shalomctr.org);
author, Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought

“A passionate and compelling argument for all of us to become more active in the movement for the environment and sustainability.”

Jewish Media Review

“Unique … carries you through the nittty gritty of what it means to act as a person of faith on environmental concerns. [Offers] a wealth of ideas for affecting change in your own community using the powerful assets of faith.”

Rev. Bud Heckman, director for external relations, Religions for Peace; author, InterActive Faith: The Essential Interreligious Community-Building Handbook

“A great discussion starter for any parish group.... Very practical.”

U.S. Catholic

Andrea Cohen-Kiener is director of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (Connecticut’s Interfaith Power and Light) and spiritual leader of Congregation Pnai Or of Central Connecticut. As a teacher, rabbi, and community organizer, she has practiced the art of bringing a spiritual perspective to problem solving for over three decades.

Rev. Sally Bingham is an Episcopal priest and founder of the Regeneration Project, a nonprofit organization that created a national Interfaith Power and Light Campaign to unite all faiths in efforts to prevent the catastrophic effects of global warming.

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