A WORLDLY SPIRITUALITY: The Call to Redeem Life on Earth by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

A WORLDLY SPIRITUALITY: The Call to Redeem Life on Earth

KIRKUS REVIEW

Bringing Christianity down to earth: a fervent, forceful exposition of ""ecotheology."" Granberg-Michaelson belongs to the new breed of orthodox but leftist Evangelicals typified by Sojourners magazine (to which he contributes), and like them he argues for a shift from individualistic morality and otherworldly salvation to a kind of universal piety. A Christian view of the cosmos as sacred is, of course, less a fact than a desideratum: James Watt's notorious invocation of the Second Coming as ground for headlong development of natural resources sat perfectly well with many conservative believers. Granberg-Michaelson demolishes that position with a brisk summary of the environmental crisis (everything from loss of cropland to depletion of the ozone layer) and a strong case for the environment as an ethical realm (so that the recent record of the EPA could fairly be described as sinful). On the other hand, Granberg-Michaelson reviews the Lynn White thesis--that the Bible's desacralization of nature unleashed ecological havoc--and thoroughly refutes it, pointing out the consistent scriptural emphasis (in Genesis, Job, Psalms, etc.) on creation as both holy and irreducible to human ownership. Beyond that, he links together issues--like nuclear proliferation, racism, sexism, consumerism--that secular humanists, but few theologians, have long seen as interrelated. Granberg-Michaelson's tone is personal, pious, intense: he's recounting his own spiritual evolution as much as he's delivering a sermon-manifesto. Christian readers seeking to clarify their social-environmental conscience should find him quite helpful.

Pub Date: July 18th, 1984
Publisher: Harper & Row