posted September 11, 2000

Book on Ecological Ethics

Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger of the Hope
College religion faculty has co-edited a collection of
writings by Joseph Sittler that consider theology, ecology
and ethics.

Bouma-Prediger and Peter Bakken, who is a research
fellow at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies,
based near Mancelona northeast of Traverse City, are co-
editors of "Evocations of Grace: Writings on Ecology,
Theology, and Ethics," published by Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Co. of Grand Rapids/Cambridge.

Sittler, who lived from 1904 to 1987, was a
Lutheran theologian who wrote about the need to think about
"a theology for earth," calling for "ecological commitment
as theological responsibility." Gathering 10 of Sittler's
works, "Evocations of Grace" conveys his argument for the
connection between Christian theology, ethics and the
natural world.

The book also includes a comprehensive Sittler
biography and essays by Bouma-Prediger and Bakken that
assess Sittler's pioneering contribution to environmental
ethics. According to the two co-editors, Sittler's work
continues to shape current eco-theological reflection.

Sittler was a professor of biblical theology at
the University of Chicago Divinity School. After retiring
in 1973, he served as Distinguished Theologian in Residence
at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Bouma-Prediger is an associate professor of
religion at Hope, where he has been a member of the faculty
since 1994. "Evocations of Grace" is his third book
concerning ecology and theology, and follows "The Greening
of Theology: The Ecological Models of Rosemary Radford
Ruether, Joseph Sittler, and Jurgen Moltmann" (Scholars
Press, 1995) and, with Virginia Vroblesky, "Assessing the
Ark: A Christian Perspective on Nonhuman Creatures and the
Endangered Species Act" (Crossroads, 1997). Two other books
are forthcoming: "Caring for Creation" (Baker, 2001) and
"Beyond Homelessness" (Eerdmans, 2001).

For many years, he led wilderness backpacking and
canoeing trips, a practice he continues for a Hope May Term
course that he teaches on ecological theology and ethics in
the Adirondacks in upstate New York. He is a member of
numerous professional societies, as well as the Evangelical
Environmental Network and the Christian Environmental
Council.

He was elected the recipient of the college's Hope
Outstanding Professor-Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award by the
graduating Class of 1999, and invited to deliver the
college's Commencement address by the graduating Class of
1998. In 1994, while on the faculty of North Park College,
where he chaired the philosophy department, he was given the
Student Association Service Award and named to the "Chicago
Tribune's" All-Star Professor Team for Chicago-area
colleges.

He has also taught at Fuller Theological Seminary,
Toronto School of Theology, Western Theological Seminary and
in the Global Stewardship Study Program at Jaguar Creek in
Belize. A 1979 Hope graduate, he holds an M.Phil. from the
Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario; an
M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary; and a doctorate
from the University of Chicago.