Recommended reading

March 21, 2017 by

Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (2001) – Ken Wilber

In this tour de force of scholarship and vision, Ken Wilber traces the course of evolution from matter to life to mind and describes the common patterns that evolution takes in all three of these domains. From the emergence of mind, he traces the evolution of human consciousness through its major stages of growth and development. He particularly focuses on modernity and postmodernity: what they mean; how they impact gender issues, psychotherapy, ecological concerns, and various liberation movements; and how the modern and postmodern world conceive of Spirit. This second edition features forty pages of new material, new diagrams, and extensively revised notes.

Spiritual Ecology: The cry of the Earth (2016) – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (editor)

The first edition of this book fostered the emergence of the “Spiritual Ecology Movement,” which recognizes the need for a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. It drew an overwhelmingly positive response from readers, many of whom are asking the simple question, “What can I do?” This second expanded edition offers new chapters, including two from younger authors who are putting the principles of spiritual ecology into action, working with their hands as well as their hearts. It also includes a new preface and revised chapter by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, that reference two major recent events: the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical, “On Care for Our Common Home,” which brought into the mainstream the idea that “the ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem”; and the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, which saw representatives from nearly 200 countries come together to address global warming, including faith leaders from many traditions. Bringing together voices from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American traditions, as well as from physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, this book calls on us to reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the Earth and wake up to our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet.

Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (2016) Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim (editors)

Prominent theologians, ethicists, scientists, and activists explore specifically Christian responses to the Universe Story and its implications for the contemporary environmental crisis. Beginning with excerpts from recent statements by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the book includes contributions by John Haught, Ilia Delio, Catherine Keller, Larry Rasmussen, and more.

The Strength of Her Witness (2016) – Elizabeth Johnson

The Gospel of John recounts the story of an encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman at the well. After their conversation, she goes out to tell her neighbors about the mysterious stranger, and many of them believed “on the strength of her witness.” These essays, drawn from around the world, reflect the many ways that women have reflected on and borne witness to the person, teaching, and praxis of Jesus Christ in light of their own varied contexts. These contexts include their struggles for life amidst wrenching poverty, racism, and violence; their experience of being female in male-dominated structures in the church and society; and their commitment to promote justice in view of the human dignity of women, all done in tandem with their faith relationship with the living God.

Original Meditation: The Aramaic Jesus and the Spirituality of Creation (2016) – Neil Douglas Klotz

The New Story about the Oldest Stories in the World Today apocalyptic predictions and images dominate popular culture and social media. Yet for most of our history, human consciousness focused on the mystery of beginnings, not endings. Our ancestors felt that the most powerful energy and clearest vision for the future could be found at our inception. They meditated on stories of the Great Beginning as the way to go forward. Original Meditation is two books in one. First it investigates the ancient tradition of creation mysticism and shows how Western culture became sidetracked into an increasingly narrow, apocalyptic world view. Second, it shows how we can begin to recover an authentic meditation on our shared beginnings, a meditation that can bring us into a more embodied and compassionate present. To help us on our way, Neil Douglas-Klotz offers us a living anthology of voices, from a mystical view of the first chapters of Genesis, to the Aramaic words of Jesus, to translations of mystical voices like Jelaluddin Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Meister Eckhart, and the Jewish Kabbalists.

Blessed are the Consumers, Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint (2013) Sallie McFague

For decades, Sallie McFague has lent her voice and her theological imagination to addressing and advocating for the most important issues of our time. In doing so, she has influenced an entire generation, and empowered countless people in their efforts to put religion in the service of meeting human needs in difficult times. In this timely book, McFague recalls her readers to the practices of restraint. In a world bent on consumption it is imperative that people of religious faith realize the significant role they play in advocating for the earth, and a more humane life for all.

 Inclusivity: A Gospel Mandate, (2015) Diarmuid O’Murchu

The strongest case yet for an inclusive church, the kind that was and has been, and lays bare its historical, theological, and spiritual roots. Diarmuid O’Murchu holds tight the millions on the margins as well as the outsiders who honor Jesus but feel they don’t fit in because of alternative vision or minority status resulting form race, ethnicity, social standing or sexual orientation. Inclusivity is not only for Christians but also for people of other faiths attracted to the vision and life of Jesus but disenchanted with the language of exclusivity and power. It presents faith dynamic characterized by discipleship with an adult Jesus in the service of an adult God. It is a gift of the “Pope Francis effect,” an inevitable drive to reach out and bring in. It is the next step in a movement toward spiritual wholeness.

The Christian Future and the Face of Earth – Thomas Berry

Like no other religious thinker, Thomas Berry has been a prophetic voice regarding Earth’s destruction and the urgent need for human response from the Christian community. This book collects Berry’s signature views on the interrelatedness of both Earth’s future and the Christian future. He ponders why Christians have been late in coming to the issue of the environment. He reflects insightfully on how the environment must be seen as a religious issue, not simply a scientific or economic problem. In powerful and poetic language Berry presents a compelling vision of the sacredness of the universe and the interrelatedness of the Earth community. Drawing on Thomas Aquinas and Teilhard de Chardin he brings the Christian tradition into a cosmology of care for the whole of creation.

Personal Transformation and a New Creation – Ilia Delio (editor)

“Dr. Bruteau is a philosopher of great measure whose work should be required reading for all who seek the deepest truth about themselves.” –Sue Monk Kidd, author, The Secret Life of Bees

Top scholars examine the theories of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin through the lens of Beatrice Bruteau’s pioneering work on evolution and consciousness. Contributors include Cynthia Bourgeault, Ursula King, Barbara Fiand, Kerrie Hide, Gabrielle Stoner, Kathleen Duffy, John Shea, Carla De Sola, and Joshua Tysinger.

Partaking of God – Denis Edwards

The natural world around us is in crisis. We know it has a dynamic, evolutionary character. How might we understand this world in relationship to God?
Partaking of God builds on the foundations of the dynamic Trinitarian theology of Athanasius. It develops into a theology of the Word as the divine Attractor and the Spirit as the Energy of Love in evolutionary emergence. Then it explores God’s suffering with creatures, the humility of God in creation, church teaching on the human soul in relation to neuroscience, and grace and original sin in relationship to evolution. It culminates in a Christian theology of ecological conversion.

So Far From Home – Margaret Wheatley

I wrote this book for you if you offer your work as a contribution to others, whatever your work might be, and if now you find yourself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and sometimes despairing even as you paradoxically experience moments of joy, belonging, and greater resolve to do your work. This book describes how we can do our good work with dedication, energy, discipline, and joy by consciously choosing a new role for ourselves.

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