Norman Wirzba writes with verve, alacrity, and theological sensitivity in laying out particular arguments for bringing back the importance of creation for a theological anthropology relevant to earth ethics. Wirzba is careful to trace the history of ideas and show up their philosophical underpinnings, while illuminating our current impoverished condition. He is persuasive in noting the cultural need for a movement away from the disorientation resulting from an 'eclipse of creation' toward an orientation that is rooted in a profound understanding of creatureliness. This book will be valuable not only for individuals but also in a variety of ecclesial as well as educational settings.
-Celia E. Deane-Drummond,
University of Notre Dame
With insightful analysis and lucid prose Norman Wirzba offers a winsome argument for reimagining the natural world as creation--lovingly made, sustained, and redeemed by the triune God. From Nature to Creation expertly traces how major trends in contemporary culture undermine the possibility of care for creation. Most importantly, this book not only persuasively shows how the felt absence of God and the pervasive degradation of the world are linked but also compellingly demonstrates how we may love God and embrace our creatureliness in ways that are faithful and life-giving for all of God's creatures. Few books I have read of late are as timely as this.
professor of religion, Hope College
In this, his most important book yet, Norman Wirzba asks the simple question: What difference would it make if we thought of the earth not as nature but as creation? His answer--that 'this is the world in which God delights . . . the world we are called to love'--challenges everyone. Certainly it challenges those who would reduce creation to 'natural resources.' But it also is a profound challenge to Christians who see our creaturely life as a preparation for heaven. Rather, as Wirzba concludes, creation is 'heaven's earthly life.' Drawing with magisterial and eloquent scholarship on a vast range of sources across both Christian and secular thought, Wirzba calls us to attentiveness, to rootedness--and above all, to gratitude. All we human creatures need to hear the message of this very fine book.
professor of interdisciplinary studies and philosophy, Regent College, Vancouver
The very moment we humans have become the single most decisive force of nature itself is the moment that creation beloved of God has been eclipsed as the heart of our relationship with all that exists. Yet as commercialized nature and utilitarian thinking poison the planet and change the climate, what could be more important than 'creation' as the gracious way we live? No one is better than Wirzba in describing modernity's idolatrous and disastrous course and offering a Christian understanding of creation as the antidote.
Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York City
This is not a book about polar bears, parakeets, or some new scheme for 'saving the earth.' It is a book about why Christians need to reclaim 'the human art of creaturely life.' Wirzba shows why creation, incarnation, and redemption are intricately bound up in bodies--our own, other creatures', and the earth's--and why if we're to care for those bodies we need to adopt an 'iconic vision of the world' that only Jesus makes possible. A deeply hopeful book written in prose both artful and lucid, this confirms Norman Wirzba's place as one of the finest theologians writing today.
director, Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative, Wake Forest University School of Divinity