Ecology of Vocation
Recasting Calling in a New Planetary Era
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of Pages: 222
Width: 15.4 cm
Height: 21.9 cm
Critically surveying various approaches to Christian ecological ethics alongside the vexing moral ambiguities of the Anthropocene, Ecology of Vocation offers an integrative approach to responsible living vis à vis one of Protestantism’s key theological resources— the doctrine of vocation. Drawing on H. Richard Niebuhr’s germinal ethical framework with a decidedly ecofeminist perspective, Kiara A. Jorgenson demonstrates how vocation’s emphasis on right relationship practically speaks to the embodied realities of planetary interrelatedness. By excavating the ecological promise of the early Reformers’ democratized renderings of calling and linking their concerns to the contemporary context, she argues that vocation cannot be reduced to the particular aim of monetized work, nor to an elitist escape from it. Rather, vocation must be recast as the dynamic and vibrant space among the myriad roles any of us inhabits at any given time in a particular place. When understood in this light, vocation signals much more than a job, a passion, or a quest for self-discovery. An alternative understanding of vocation’s very ecology can extend Christian conceptions of the neighbor beyond the human and lead the church to more faithfully pursue lives characterized by humility, restraint, wisdom, justice, and love.
A prime task of ecotheology and ethics today is to retrieve and repurpose classic Christian doctrines. Jorgenson has done that brilliantly for the Protestant doctrine of vocation. Yet the book is much more. Her command and critique of the full range of options in ecotheology and ethics is the best I've seen. A splendid volume! -- Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary New York, emeritus This intellectually impressive book offers a panoramic view of Christian ecological ethics. By redefining "neighbor" to include the welfare of all forms of life, Jorgenson argues persuasively that the Christian concepts of vocation and calling provide a basis for responsible Christian ethics in the age of climate change. At the heart of this approach is a reconception of vocation as the development and practice of virtue. -- James Martin-Schramm, Luther College This historically informed and imaginatively written study in ecological theology breathes new vitality into a venerable Protestant theme, vocation. Theology teachers and their students, and pastoral practitioners, will all benefit from reading this insightful and urgently relevant book. -- H. Paul Santmire, author of Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality (2014) In a time of increasing ecological peril, what the Christian church needs is creative, substantive reflection about life in the world. Drawing upon historic theological traditions, engaging a broad range of thinkers, and appropriating scriptural insights, Jorgenson reformulates the concept of vocation and reconnects it to creation. Our callings are inseparable from relationships-relationships with humans and the other-than-human, with people and place. We need a fresh reorientation towards a new tomorrow. This book is a good resource for beginning that journey. -- M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Wheaton College and Graduate School In Ecology of Vocation, Kiara A. Jorgensen makes the important link between ecological ethics and the Protestant doctrine of vocation. Written with insight, clarity, and passionate conviction, this book guides us through the moral complexities of caring for creation within the interrelated personal and communal roles we inhabit. I highly recommend it not only to scholars and students, but also to clergy, decision makers, activists, and anyone concerned with our responsibility for the fate of our shared earth. -- Lois Malcolm, Luther Seminary In this important new book, Jorgenson provides a deep inquiry into the doctrine of our calling in Christ, connecting it to a revised and holistic understanding of our vocation in God for creation care and ecojustice. The result is a wonderful blend of Christian wisdom and a call for action on behalf of a planet in peril. Anyone interested in ecotheology or the theology of vocation will find this work an important conversation partner as they ponder their own calling in Christ. -- Alan G. Padgett, Luther Seminary With clarity, brilliance, and holy hope, Jorgenson evokes from the Protestant doctrine of vocation a rich quiver of theological, spiritual, and practical resources for transformative faith in the age of environmental crises. Her book is a sign of abiding love and commitment to justice, and will nurture both in its readers. At once prophetic and pastoral, mystical and practical, this text will be invaluable for people in the church, the university and seminary classroom, and broader society who long to forge ways of living that enable God's good garden Earth to flourish. -- Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union