Just as there are laws of physics by which the physical universe can be defined and understood, so the natural order has principles of relating which can be ignored but cannot be abrogated by humanity. Science and religion converge in testifying to the truth that the earth is a single house with an underlying interdependence. When this interdependence is ignored, when humanity acts as if it is somehow apart from the created order rather than part of it, when contemporary appetite is satisfied through unregulated exploitation with no reference to, or responsibility for, the future; the consequences are potentially calamitous.
I have written this book to argue that care of creation is a non-negotiable responsibility for a person of faith, especially of the Christian faith, and that the Christian narrative offers a way forward, in support of science. Further, to argue that the environmental crisis is essentially a crisis of the human vocation, that cooperation is a more essential mode of being human than competition; that rampant individualism is at the heart of the environmental crisis and that this individualism drives an economic culture which worships individual profit rather than the well being of human and nonhuman life.
Finally I have written the book as a witness to hope, that a different way, a path with appropriate limits, that builds equity and community, is more not less; indeed that common life equates to common and abundant wealth.
Occasionally it is possible to read a book that explores ideas and makes connections that should have been obvious, but which somehow until that moment were not and which expresses ideas with a lucidity and persuasiveness of argument that carry the reader along with it, and backs up the argument with a depth and thoroughness of scholarship that one can only look upon with envy. This thesis is such a book.
Dr Duncan Reid. Past Dean United Faculty of Theology Trinity College Melbourne
Dr Browning’s impressive work, with insightful new vistas on how to do theology, is essential reading both for those concerned with the future of Christian existence and for those concerned with the future existence of the planet.
Professor James Haire AC. Charles Sturt University. Canberra
Bishop Browning provides a detailed and thoughtful reflection on the present environmental crisis and how Anglicans and all faith communities can and should live differently and more responsibly.
Canon Ken Gray, Secretary, Anglican Communion Environmental Network
The world often defines success by our capacity to consume more and more but this important and timely book explores the challenge given us in our care of the environment by the creative limits of a Sabbath. The deep resources of the Christian tradition are used to promote the common good and nourish and expand our sense of vocation about what it is to be human. This is bedrock in developing the robust personal and corporate spirituality capable of the creative change that will care for our common home.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam. Bishop of Salisbury. ‘Bishop of the Planet’
Church of England’s lead Bishop on Environmental Affairs.