Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meanderings of a budding ecotheologian

I've taken to calling myself an ecotheologian because I've been thinking in this space for a while. Drawn in over a decade ago by being asked to write a paper (unrefereed) on climate change (I have a PhD in meteorology and teach a subject on climate change and natural variability), I've been thinking about climate change specifically and more generally about human/non-human creation relationships.

From the standpoint of the field, I'm very much an amateur, and pragmatics is the reason why I haven't started a Masters in Theology yet - this is to happen within the next couple of years - but I've plenty to do in the mean time with a second book slowly bubbling, a couple of contributed chapters and a few papers to write up.

Recently, an established academic Anne Elvey described me to someone as a budding ecotheologian. It's funny to think of oneself as budding at 45, but I like the phrase for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I like a good pun, and secondly it picks up on the fact that there is a process (one could argue a life long one) of becoming someone in the field. The growth has begun, but there is a flowering that is yet to come. Time to get growing.

I was able to give a couple of papers in the last week, firstly at the Conference on Science and Christianity (COSAC) run by ISCAST, I gave a paper on geoengineering. I think there are 2-3 potential papers in what I said. COSACs are always good - lots of diverse papers and thoughts, and the Geelong Conference Centre is a wonderful venue in the middle of the botanical gardens.

The other conference was the Graeme Clark Research Institute conference on rediscovering the spiritual in creation. An amazing lineup of Australian and international ecotheologians at the Serafino winery in McClaren Vale south of Adelaide. Much to follow up on. There, I presented my published work on a theology of wilderness. A few ideas to chase up from that as well.

This weekend are Surrender I'm giving a workshop on putting the Earth right and launching my book with Claire Dawson, A Climate of Hope. Keeping busy.

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