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Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit

SKU 9780827205413

By Leah D. Schade

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How can we proclaim justice for God’s Creation in the face of global warming? How does fracking fit with “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s?” Creation-Crisis Preaching works with the premise that all of Creation, including humankind, needs to hear the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection in this age in which humanity is “crucifying” Creation. Informed by years of experience as an environmental activist and minister, Leah Schade equips preachers to interpret the Bible through a green lens, become rooted in environmental theology, and learn how to understand their preaching context in terms of the particular political, cultural, and biotic setting of their congregation.

Creation-Crisis Preaching provides both theoretical grounding and practical tips for preachers to create environmental sermons that are relevant, courageous, creative, pastoral, and inspiring.


"Global climate change is the most important issue of our time. We hear about it in the news and experience it in weather changes every day, and yet, rarely if ever is it addressed from our church pulpits. Pope Francis called church leaders to take action on climate in his encyclical, Laudato Si’, pastors granting pastor’s authority and urgency to preach on the environment. Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit has arrived at the perfect time, passionately providing preachers and seminarians with the foundational background and strategies needed to craft creation-centered sermons. Likewise, we do not do this work thinking we can ‘save’ the planet. We do this because it is what we are called to do…. We are called to be faithful."― Carol Devine, Green Chalice Ministry

"Throughout the book, Shade demonstrates how preaching can instill positive associations with the natural world and women through the mindful use of metaphors and images. Beyond the book’s theme of ecojustice, it provides a useful guide for bridging the gap between the rhetoric of preaching and the response of direct action among individuals and groups. Ultimately, preaching aims to bring action into fruition. Attitudinal readjustments, personal conviction, and acceptance of a new revelation function as the first steps towards an active response." —Michael D. Royster, Homiletic

"Preaching can be a way to make social change. Eco-feminist preaching has even more potential to rock the hearts and minds of listeners and encourage action. This collection of theoretical materials and sermons is a good Lutheran model that can be adapted more broadly."―WATER (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual), June 2016 Reading Recommendations
“As Leah Schade makes clear, we need to green the pulpit if we're going to green the planet. And she provides some excellent advice about how to do that in a sound and transformative way!” —Bill McKibben, author, The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation

"A cadre of theologians has been addressing ecological issues intensely for more than fifty years. But will it preach? That question has haunted this burgeoning discussion from the start. In this well-written and well-researched study, Leah Schade demonstrates, with a biblically inspired sense of urgency, that ecotheology will preach. To that end, she imaginatively and instructively reshapes ecotheological discourse, by drawing on insights from ecofeminism, current homiletical theology, and her own wide-ranging experiences as a publicly and liturgically engaged Lutheran pastor. Clergy, teaching theologians, and grassroots religious educators especially will benefit greatly, both personally and professionally, from a close reading of this groundbreaking work."―H. Paul Santmire, author, Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis and Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality

“In Creation-Crisis Preaching, Leah Schade provides both a compelling case for, as well as a fully developed guide to, preaching on creation. Writing as a Lutheran pastor, feminist theologian, and ardent environmentalist, Schade plumbs the depths of history, theology, and homiletics to help preachers provide their hearers with a new frame of reference by which to enter into a deeper relationship with God’s good Creation and, ultimately, each other.” —David Lose, president, Lutheran Theological Seminary, and author of Preaching at the Crossroads

“An excellent resource for pastors who wonder about their role in honoring and caretaking God’s creation. Drawing on the Lutheran emphases on theology of the cross and the centrality of the resurrection, Dr. Schade provides both a compelling case for why ‘creation-crisis preaching’ is necessary, and also a solid guidebook on how to do it. Full of rich imagery, confident truth-telling, and resurrection hope, this book inspires new directions for preaching.” —Rev. Michael J. Scholtes, pastor, Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bangor, PA

“Those who preach in the current era of environmental disasters, toxicity in food and water, and atmospheric carbon overload need Creation-Crisis Preaching by Leah Schade. Lacing Ecofeminist insight into classic Reformation perspective, Schade guides preachers to name crucifixion in creation, coach resistance to exploitation, and assert resurrection precisely where it seems unlikely. The volume is full of specific strategies and examples. Anyone who wants to preach effectively and with relevance needs this book.” —The Rev. Gilson Waldkoenig, Professor of Church in Society, Gettysburg Seminary

“Can one preach a good word in season and out of season, when seasons may not be around for too long? Can one communicate the good news in a world of broken dreams and shattered hopes, when the world as we know it is facing human-made catastrophes on an unprecedented scale? Can the legacy of Lutheran thinking be of value in addressing ecological issues and themes? Not one to shy away from penetrating and pertinent questions amidst the messiness of everyday life, Pastor Schade is warmly commended for her passionate and pastoral advocacy of a creation-centered approach to the ongoing calling to faithful preaching.” —J. Jayakiran Sebastian, Dean and Professor of Mission and Cultures, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

“By responding to the looming environmental crisis, Leah Schade demonstrates the potential for the renewal of Christian preaching. She shows how an ecologically inspired homiletics enables the voice of the Earth to be heard. She shows how an ecotheology is necessarily a feminist theology. And she shows how this ecofeminist theology opens the pathway to a ‘shape-shifting Jesus’ who still contains the power to surprise. This is an important book that announces Schade as a desperately needed pastoral and prophetic voice of environmental consciousness.” ―Jeffrey W. Robbins, Lebanon Valley College, author of Radical Democracy and Political Theology