PRAISE FOR CREATION-CRISIS PREACHING
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.
The book has already received advance praise from internationally known climate change activist and author Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, who states: “As Leah Schade makes clear, we need to green the pulpit if we’re going to green the planet. She provides some excellent advice about how to do that in a sound and transformative way!”
“Rev. Dr. Leah Schade’s book Creation-Crisis Preaching is the perfect companion for Pope Francis’ recently released Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’,” adds The Rev. William Thwing, past president of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light (PA-IPL), calling it a “thought-provoking, faith-affirming, yet faith-challenging didactic that catapults the reader into a hopeful, almost ‘Franciscan’ perspective.”
“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 at Philadelphia and Author of Preaching at the Crossroads
“Preachers can no longer avoid addressing the issues of climate change and environmental injustice. Finally, we have a substantial book to support us in this calling. Deeply grounded in environmental ethics and eco-feminist theology, Leah Schade provides both a theoretical framework and practical strategies to help preachers speak to the crisis facing God's creation. Schade has provided an essential resource for the urgent situation we face. Every preacher should read this book. Now.”
Charles Campbell, Duke Divinity School and Co-author of Preaching Fools: The Gospel as a Rhetoric of Folly
AND MORE . . .
“Creation-Crisis Preaching is bold and prophetic. Grounded in the gospel and a theology of the cross that names God’s hidden yet startling presence in the midst of suffering, Dr. Leah Schade draws on the profound insights of ecofeminist theology to help preaching address and engage environmental injustice. She shows us how our own sermons can be a moment where God’s Creation is even now ‘flowering, leafing, and fruiting’ in the fecund, liminal space between eco-crucifixion and eco-resurrection.” —David Schnasa Jacobsen, Boston University
“How is the Word of God in Scripture to be proclaimed as hope in the midst of eco-catastrophe? What does it mean to preach Jesus Christ living, crucified, and risen in light of the linked oppression of Earth and women? How is the preacher to proclaim what God is doing to bring about eco-resurrection? Schade’s daring venture at the intersection of ecofeminist theology and homiletics plunges the reader into these courageous and vital questions. Her response is theologically compelling, faithful, forthright, and hope-inspiring. Articulating a Lutheran ecofeminist christology and its implications for preaching, the author charts a course to preaching that is faithful to the Gospel and responsive to the cries of the Earth and people who suffer with its degradation. This remarkable book is a gift to the church and the world, and is a work of abiding love—love for the church, the Word of God, the Earth, and its creatures (human included). While grounded in Lutheran traditions, Schade’s guidance in this book will be relished by people of other Christian traditions and beyond. It is a must-read for all who hunger to hear and proclaim God's word of life in our day.”—Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Pacific Lutheran Theological 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, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“With this slingshot of a book Leah Schade has alerted the people, named the danger, and taken aim to help topple the creation-killing Goliaths of our day. She calls the preacher to claim the Biblical privilege and power for environmental story and truth-telling, and then lays out possibilities for those who would be, and should be champions for the stewardship and healing of the earth. My attention to scripture in light of this eco-crisis and my preaching has changed since reading this very timely and important book. You will find the depth of her scholarship compelling, her theological and urgent imperatives to address this eco-crisis convincing, and her illustrative sermons captivating.” —Claire Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA
“Author Leah Schade is a leading theological voice on eco-preaching and has crafted an intriguing ecofeminist model for preaching. She provides an excellent guide to the issues confronting Creation today and examines how preaching can and should engage these concerns. The use of imagery, language, and concrete suggestions brings the Earth and the preacher into dialogue, in challenging and helpful ways. Providing sermon examples makes this book an even more important partner for the conversation.” —Karyn L. Wiseman, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“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.”—Michael Scholtes, Pastor, Prince of Peace Evangelical Church, Bangor, Pennsylvania
“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.” —Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
“Leah Schade is an advocate for the integrity of God’s creation and invites preachers into her craft. She combines feminist exegesis, theological reflection and her own passion to help preachers help congregants hear anew God’s voice in creation and their role in loving, defending and preserving it. Her creative sermons model preaching techniques that bring creation to voice and leave the hearers pondering the awesome ways of God. A needed and important contribution to homiletics and creation care.” —Amy Reumann, Director, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania
“Leah Schade is to be congratulated. In one volume she has given us current analyses of environmental issues, a robust eco-theology that is informed by her Lutheranism, gender studies, and ecology, as well as examples for addressing the environmental crisis in the public arena and the congregation. An invaluable resource for anyone interested in being the ‘persistent widow’ against the status quo in the greening of God’s good creation.” —Karl Krueger, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“This is one of the most creative books on preaching you will find. Leah Schade draws many strands of theology and homiletics into the orbit of feminism and care for the Earth. She pioneers an interdisciplinary ethic that cries out to be proclaimed. She explores the radical changes necessary for us to address the global crises we face. Her generative reflections on the cross and resurrection invite solidarity with the most vulnerable of Earth’s creatures and offer hope that inspires us to action and transformation. The study is punctuated by stories and sermons that illustrate well the proposals she makes. I learned a great deal from this book and I recommended it enthusiastically for teachers and students in preaching, theology, feminism, and environmentalism.” —David Rhoads, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
“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
“Environmental issues have become a critically important subject. However, prophetic and practical sermons in this vital area are scarce. Leah Schade, an eco-homilist, attempts to solve this problem as she provides ways for preachers to effectively communicate environmental concerns. Creation-Crisis Preaching juxtaposes theology and science effectively, bridging the gap between religion and ecology. The use of theological and scientific language in this book connects earth’s problems to heaven’s promise. If you are looking for resources and hope during this ecological crisis look no further.” —Wayne E. Croft, St. Paul’s Baptist Church, West Chester, Pa.
“It is in the interface between two different ecologies (e.g., where a forest interacts with a savannah) that one finds the most abundant and complex life forms. In this creative nexus of ecofeminist theology and homiletics, Schade similarly creates a rich landscape of insight by bringing together things often kept separate. The work provides helpful overviews of pertinent theory in the fields of ecology, homiletics, and gender studies. The author, mindful of producing a practical resource for the church, always suggests real-life applications within the ecological crisis that defines the contemporary church’s kairos moment. It is an excellent hermeneutical introduction to a serious and neglected ‘text’ for today’s preachers.” —Erik Heen, The Lutheran School of Theology at Philadelphia
“A healthy ecosystem depends upon the interdependent flourishing of its parts. In Creation-Crisis Preaching Leah Schade makes a winsome case for the mutually reinforcing contributions of environmentalism and feminism, ecological consciousness and a Lutheran Christian theology of the cross, cycles of nature and the surprising newness of resurrection, homiletical theory and practice. From her experience as an interdiscplinary scholar, a preacher grounded in a local religious community, and an environmental activist, Schade challenges, invites, and inspires others to work that is simultaneously demanding, urgent, and joyful.” —John Hoffmeyer, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“Creation Crisis Preaching provides a dense introduction to the theological and philosophical background on which Rev. Schade builds an argument for a new ecofeminist theology. The book is strongest when she takes that theoretical background and shares with her readers her actual, pulpit-delivered sermons — a wide variety of them, many using the Revised Common Lectionary — that she has delivered in 3 widely different contexts over recent years, from wealthy suburban Philadelphia, to urban, African-American Philadelphia, to rural, poor, farming-hunting-and-fracking areas of Pennsylvania. By interrupting those sermons with internal commentary, linking the text to the theoretical grounding, she paints examples of how challenging theology can scaffold, build, and direct homily.” — Cricket Eccleston Hunter, Director, PA Interfaith Power & Light
“A must read for all preachers, seminarians and theologians committed to environmental concerns. Richly illustrated with sermons, stories and art, the book offers a pastoral theology of creation from an ecofeminist-Lutheran perspective that is academically well grounded and practically insightful. As a creative contribution to an eco-Christology readers may find the concepts of eco-crucifixion and eco-resurrection profoundly intriguing and meaningful.” —Paul Rajashekar, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“This is a book about proclaiming the cross and resurrection, about Martin Luther’s theology of the cross, finding God in the depths of suffering and oppression. Leah Shade has extended that traditional Lutheran emphasis, in our time finding those depths of suffering in the exploitation and debasement of the created world and the systematic oppression of women, a region called ecofeminism. Her exploration of this region is both provocative and stimulating. The book takes its life from her preaching, from imaginative, challenging yet accessible sermons. The cross borne by the created world and women must be proclaimed, faced by all people of faith, if there is to be not reform but resurrection.” —Bob Robinson, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“Rev. Dr. Leah Schade wrestles with the question of preaching truly good news in the face of the bad news of serious anthropogenic ecological disruption. Animated by ecofeminist insight and Lutheran accents on living word and theology of the cross, the book also highlights. Schade’s distinctive preaching voice. This work will provoke needed conversation about how the life-giving Gospel can be spoken when the Holocene epoch itself is threatened.” —Benjamin W. Stewart, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
“Rev. Dr. Leah Schade’s book Creation-Crisis Preaching is the perfect companion for Pope Francis’ recently released Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. Scripture is faithfully reinterpreted thru a ‘Green Lens’, guiding fallen humanity away from fulfilling the prophecy in Genesis 3:17 - ‘Cursed is Earth because of you’ - and back into right relationship with all Creation. Two hundred pages of well documented, thought provoking, faith-affirming yet faith-challenging didactic catapults the reader into a hopeful, almost ‘Franciscan’ perspective.” —William Thwing, past President, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light
“Dr. Schade does a brilliant job of helping preachers not only to preach toward amelioration of the creation crisis but also of helping them to understand how creation itself literally contributes its voice to proclamation. Schade offers fascinating insights, practical advice, and boldly creative sermons that will be priceless for pastors committed to making a significant difference toward ending the creation crisis. By God's power, this book will help us to avoid catastrophe.” —David Von Schlichten, Seton Hill University
“Norman Wirzba says the environmental crisis demands pastors preach nothing but the doctrine of Creation. Leah Schade provides the theoretical and practical tools needed to do so. Accessibly and with wonderful clarity she inspires as well as instructs on the homiletic challenge before us. One might argue over technical ecological points, but the road she lays out for ministry of Word is one we must travel and she provides a meaningful, coherent and cogent road map.” —Thomas W. Martin, Susquehanna University
“Dr. Schade has done an extraordinary work to help the preacher in their attempt to proclaim better care for the environment. In a very interesting and provocative way she draws on ecofeminist theology which recognize comparisons of how the society has interacted with women and the ecological environment over the centuries. Her understanding of ecology as being that which involves humans and our natural surrounding encourages the preacher to proclaim the” oneness” that humans and the rest of creation enjoy. Her work embellishes the great scholarship done by other theologians and activists to bring about attention to the dire need for the care and maintaining of a healthier ecological environment. As a skilled homiletician she offers many themes and images to assist the preacher in their proclamation. She raises the need for the preacher to nurture a greater appreciation and care for the whole of God’s creation. Her perspective and approach is very much needed for this present age.” —Charles Leonard, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“Dr. Schade’s book is a timely contribution to theology and praxis, to ways of thinking about and responding to the environmental crisis. Meaning of creation and our stupor before the degradation of nature are among her concerns. A timely resource for preachers, naturalists, and anyone concerned with earthy life and ethics, she proclaims a ‘word of hope, empowerment, and courage.’ It should become required reading for theology students, environmentalists, and the general public.” —Nelson Rivera, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“Leah Schade’s Creation-Crisis Preaching is a profoundly moving vision of a new Christian homiletics focused on Earth’s bounty as God’s gift to all of us, human and more-than-human alike. Firmly rooted in the splendor of Pennsylvania’s upper Susquehanna Valley, and its degradation from hydraulic fracturing, Schade’s pastoral vision is biblically sonorous and liturgically prophetic. Beautifully written and persuasively argued, this exercise in green preaching will offer readers a road map for the future of a church that is recovering its love of creation.” —Mark Wallace, Swarthmore College
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