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Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0199917006
ISBN-10: 0199917000
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"In many ways Earth-Honoring Faith resembles an intricate, colorful song played by a vast collection of deft instrumentalists. Rasmussen is a master at tying together a large number of resources and perspectives, each carefully tuned to play the right notes. Persuasively, even lyrically, he has assembled a grand orchestra to inspire deep reflection and animate meaningful practice." --The Christian Century


"This book is important, timely, sorely needed and deeply prophetic- delivering a hard, truthful indictment of the world as it is, but also suggesting visionary, hopeful Earth-honoring ways forward... yes, you should, you need , to read this." --Journal of Lutheran Ethics


"Larry Rasmussen has once again penned a masterwork uniting ecological ethics and religious practices broadly envisioned. If the Earth is to survive, ethical theory and spiritual praxis are equally vital. Science informs. Religions motivat. A transformation combining these concepts is urgently needed at this moment in time on our planet." --Catholic Books Review


"He [Rasmussen] writes extremely well, with elegance and eloquence, and weaves poetry, narrative, and personal stories into a tapestry informed by keen ethical insight and analysis. His treatment of power relations in the economy and of consumerism is masterful. This book is a must for anyone interested in the environment who is not willing to settle for lazy aphorisms and superficial panaceas." --CHOICE


"This book is a tour-de-force, bringing together theological reflection and ethical persuasion to argue for the transformation of religions into their ecological phase. Larry Rasmussen is eloquent, comprehensive, and compelling in his articulation of a vision that is sorely needed for our emerging Earth Community."--Mary Evelyn Tucker, Co-Director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University


"Larry Rasmussen's new work on religious ethics moves from a lyrical homage to the sacred web of life to a searing indictment of the utilitarian use of nature by both capitalist and socialist industrialization. Drawing on mystical, prophetic, and wisdom traditions, Rasmussen shows that a paradigm shift to an ecologically conscious civilization is possible. Inspired by local communities, an earth-honoring faith becomes a song of songs."--Aruna Gnanadason, author of Listen to the Women, Listen to the Earth


"Rasmussen argues persuasively that religion needs to stop perceiving nature as the stage for the human salvation drama and view it instead as the locus for experience of the divine. His scholarship is impeccable and his ability to weave together insights from various fields and scholars is exemplary. Earth-honoring Faith is a grand intellectual endeavor that reflects interdisciplinary thinking at its best."--Jim Martin-Schramm, Professor of Religion, Luther College


"By writing so lyrically and in open conversation with so many others struggling to create language for this civilizational transition, Larry Rasmussen shows the awkwardness of inherited language and ideas for discussing the new moral world that humanity needs to learn to inhabit. He demonstrates how to make sense of ancient moral traditions in a new context, and how to bend them into a new imagination of the world. This book is a serious contribution to religious ethics. It will be appreciated not only by scholars in the field but by many thinking readers worried about sustainability crises and looking for cultural resources to reshape our shared moral imagination."--Willis Jenkins, author of Ecologies of Grace


About the Author


Larry L. Rasmussen is Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary and winner of the 1997 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. He is the author of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Reality and Resistance and the co-editor of Earth Habitat: New Dimensions of Church and Community in Creation.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199917000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199917006
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.6 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Mustol on December 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Earth-honoring Faith is a complex and far-ranging book. I, a theology student, have read through it once, read certain parts a second time, and studied other parts. Still I have not yet begun to mine the riches that the book offers to us human inhabitants of planet earth. I have much work yet to do with this book. But still for those who would read through it only once or even those who would use it merely for reference (the index is fairly good), it is an excellent resource.

In his earlier book, Earth Community Earth Ethics (1996) Rasmussen set down his vital thesis: namely, that we are part of a larger community-the Earth Community, and we must live accordingly-Earth Ethics. In Earth-honoring Faith, he develops this thesis further, accessing multiple sources, religious, scientific, popular, and otherwise. Like the prophets of old, Rasmussen sees the manifold ecological dangers that, given our current worldview and way of life, are lurking on the horizon, and he urgently calls us to engage in the prodigious task of "a seismic shift in [our] moral universe and in our industrial/postindustrial way of life. It is a shift from the encapsulated human self and human society to the ecosphere as center, boundary, and subject; from human justice to creation justice; and from my bounded human community to the unbounded community of all life" (p. 193). We must undertake "the re-moralization of the landscape (deBuys) . . . the collective religious and cultural task as people struggle to find a new identity while caught in the throes of death and renewal. Singing the Lord's song in a strange land, treating each locale as a sacred trust worthy of well-being, [developing] a sense of place that, like wisdom itself, continually listens to and learns from nature" (p. 354).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hawaiian Cooks on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A longer review will follow. The bottom line is that this book should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of our planet as a habitable place for humanity. While the book is written by a Christian theologian and ethicist, it will almost certainly appeal to those of almost any faith community. Prof. Larry Rasmussen is extraordinarily well versed in many of the world religious traditions and writes from the perspective that all faith communities have an inherent ethic to honor and care for the Earth. The only minor issues I had while reading this book are 1) that it is a bit wordy at times and 2) from my perspective as a research scientist, some technical subjects are presented in an overly simplistic fashion without at least acknowledging the complexity of the issues. Bottom line, a powerful and thought provoking book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David M. on March 11, 2014
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An important book that should be read by people of all faiths and those who profess no faith. Larry Rasmussen, a progressive Christian, makes a powerful case for rethinking faith and ethical perspectives on nature. Specifically, he calls for radically expanding the notion of neighbor in the principle of loving neighbor as self to include the whole community of life, the ecosphere. Showing respect for nature--honoring the earth--is a requirement for our continued existence and well-being. But, even apart from what humans need for survival, our faith and ethical viewpoint, according to Rasmussen, should be one that recognizes the subjecthood, the inherent dignity, of nonhuman forms of life. My only criticism is that the book could have used some editing. Rasmussen could have made his important points with a much shorter book.
DBM Minnesota
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Crist on June 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want to understand how the Chrisian faith applies to environmental issues, this is a must read for anyone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lorence G. Collins on June 17, 2014
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This book is excellent, well written, researched, and quite readable. All persons concerned about the way the world is headed relative to global warming, the disappearance of plant and animal species, and the poisoning of our water resources, both on land and in the oceans, should read this book!

Lorence
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alice Patience on April 15, 2014
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I purchased and read this book on the recommendation of Diana Butler Bass. It is excellent.- does a superb job of explaining the whole climate change issue and offers a means of not only dealing with it but reversing it. Extensively researched.
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