Words for a Dying World
Stories of Grief and Courage from the Global Church
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How do we talk about climate grief in the church? And when we have found the words, what do we do with that grief?
There is a sudden and dramatic rise in people experiencing a profound sense of anxiety in the face of our dying planet, and a consequent need for churches to be better resourced pastorally and theologically to deal with this threat.
Words for a Dying World brings together voices from across the world - from the Pacific islands to the pipelines of Canada, from farming communities in Namibia to activism in the UK.
Author royalties from the sale of this book are split evenly between contributors. The majority will be pooled as a donation to ClientEarth. The remainder will directly support the communities represented in this collection.
Contributors include Anderson Jeremiah, Azariah France-Williams, David Benjamin Blower, Holly-Anna Petersen, Isabel Mukonyora, Jione Havea, and Maggi Dawn.
Listen to a few of the global voices from this volume on Soundcloud
Di Rayson is an adjunct research fellow in the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Di lives on a small farm on Biripi country, surrounded by forests and mountains and not too far from the ocean.
"These essays from the global church express the grief of many a living descent into hell. But what struck me most, was to see grief without the wallowing in self-pity of “despair narratives” that can mar environmental grief work in privileged Western settings. How is this so? What is distinctive about this book? Partly, it is the community and politically grounded vantage point of many of the contributors from the South. Mainly, it is theological depth. As the editor concludes: “At the end of a book about death I want to talk about resurrection, and not just my own, but the resurrection of all things.” Here is a spiritual vision that descends into hell but sees straight through it. And our task? To birth that vision into immanence. “Thy community come….” These beautiful essays from the global church are liberation theology: a theology that liberates, that flows out from underneath the temple for the healing of the nations." -- Alastair MacIntosh, author of "Soil and Soul", "Poacher’s Pilgrimage" and "Riders on the Storm"
"This is a truly wonderful book. It deserves to be read slowly, prayerfully and with humility, such is the depth and richness that it contains." -- Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy & Influencing Director, Tearfund
"‘Words for a Dying World’ is a must-read but not a comfortable one. It’s voices are highly diverse yet disturbingly consistent, articulating the agony of places and peoples, and wrestling to integrate Christian grief and hope amidst ecological collapse" -- Dave Bookless, Director of Theology, A Rocha International
"This book is astonishing. Its beauty comes in the drawing together of a rich tapestry of voices of lament and hope from the global Church; breaking your heart before piecing it back together and pointing the way forward. It is truly heartening to see brothers and sisters from around the world coming together, their voices, with their different cadences and textures and cultures – uniting for the sake of the climate. A book needed for such a time as this, that leads us in the uncomfortable path from death to resurrection." -- Chine McDonald, Head of public engagement, Christian Aid
"How might our grief in the face of climate and ecological catastrophe be gift to us? This haunting collection of essays gives voice to experiences of ecosystem loss from outside of mainstream Western environmental consciousness, and in doing so beautifully demonstrates how the shared experience of grief might be a means of drawing us towards the global webs of solidarity we will surely need if our lives together are to be sustained into the future." -- Robert Song, Durham University, UK
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