A new book by Katherine K. Wilkinson explores the changing relationship of evangelists and the realities of climate change.
The relationship is not trivial. Evangelical Christians make up about a quarter of the U.S. Population. Recent studies by MIT/Sloan show North America lagging other regions with respect to understanding and coming to terms with- or even taking economic advantage of aspects of climate change.
So a reconciliation between this community and activism on climate change is important to both communities. This book shows how the various stakeholders have increasingly been collaborating despite some fundamental core differences in belief. Actually, there are some good lessons learned for project managers here. If the evangelical Christian community can see fit to collaborate with atheist scientists, then engineering and marketing can certainly work together, right?
From today’s Boston Globe:
Wilkinson tells a vitally important, even subversive, story at the heart of this carefully researched book. Over the past 30 years or more, even as the culture wars raged, an honest-to-God “evangelical Center” came to life in the political no-man’s land between the old-guard religious right and the secular liberal establishment. And as Wilkinson shows, one of the most significant expressions of that increasingly assertive center — as it seeks to broaden the “evangelical agenda” beyond abortion and sexuality to include global poverty, health, and social-justice issues — is a far-reaching environmental movement, based on the theology of “creation care,” and the effort by a new generation of moderate leaders to put climate change on the evangelical map.
Read the full review from The Boston Globe here.
Here’s a description from the publisher:
“Despite three decades of scientists’ warnings and environmentalists’ best efforts, the political will and public engagement necessary to fuel robust action on global climate change remain in short supply. Katharine K. Wilkinson shows that, contrary to popular expectations, faith-based efforts are emerging and strengthening to address this problem. In the US, perhaps none is more significant than evangelical climate care.
Drawing on extensive focus group and textual research and interviews, Between God & Green explores the phenomenon of climate care, from its historical roots and theological grounding to its visionary leaders and advocacy initiatives. Wilkinson examines the movement’s reception within the broader evangelical community, from pew to pulpit. She shows that by engaging with climate change as a matter of private faith and public life, leaders of the movement challenge traditional boundaries of the evangelical agenda, partisan politics, and established alliances and hostilities. These leaders view sea-level rise as a moral calamity, lobby for legislation written on both sides of the aisle, and partner with atheist scientists.
Wilkinson reveals how evangelical environmentalists are reshaping not only the landscape of American climate action, but the contours of their own religious community. Though the movement faces complex challenges, climate care leaders continue to leverage evangelicalism’s size, dominance, cultural position, ethical resources, and mechanisms of communication to further their cause to bridge God and green.”
We’d suggest that this would be a good read for our blog followers. Again, it helps to illustrate how a wide range of stakeholders can work together for a common cause.
And that’s a good thing.