Books

Book cover. Title reads "The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics: Humans, Nonhumans, and the Living Landscape." Author: "Mari Joerstad" The image is of a forest with low-hanging clouds.

The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics: Humans, Non-Humans, and the Living Landscape. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

‘In this groundbreaking study, Mari Joerstad has found a new convergence between biblical studies and ecology. Exploring the ‘living landscapes’ of the Bible, from the creation texts of Genesis to the Song of Songs, Joerstad has charted a new landscape of research as well as a new pathway for action, one that has a distinctly aesthetic trajectory. In this work, the author proves to be both an artist and an exegete, a welcome combination.’

William P. Brown – William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

 

‘This book is a wide-ranging and important study of environmental ethics in relation to the Hebrew Bible but in the broad context of studies in animism, anthropology and metaphor theory. It is at the cutting edge of ideas about the role of nature in human life and thought and the way that is depicted through metaphorical language in the Hebrew Bible. It is a highly readable book, with the author persuading us that the topic is integral to our understanding of ourselves as human beings both in relationship to, and with responsibility for, the world around us.’

Katharine J. Dell – University of Cambridge

 

‘Joerstad’s argument adds another layer of relationships to environmental concerns. She bears witness to the impossibility of loving the North American landscape without loving indigenous peoples. The living landscapes, as she calls our environmental context, are the familial relations of indigenous peoples who have been entrusted with the care of their ancestral home, their natural siblings. To confess sins to nonhuman life should also involve repentance to indigenous life, for the two are one family, each as kin to the other. “This project is an exercise in waiting, in listening to others who have listened to the world.”’

Isaac S. Villegas, Christian Century