Timothy Morton in his newly released book writes about the relationship between religion and ecology that can help the planet respond to the climate change crisis.

Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology was released on May 28 by Columbia University Press. Morton reveals how humanity can escape global warming ‘hell’ via a combination of Christianity and biology. Spiritual and mystical feelings have a deep resonance with ecological thinking, and together they provide the resources environmentalism desperately needs, according to the publishers’ description of the book. They say that the book reveals Morton’s solutions in a revelation of Christianity. It furnishes ecological politics with a language of mercy and forgiveness that draws from Christian traditions.

Morton is the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University and director of the Cool America Foundation. They are the author of more than twenty books, including HyperobjectsDark Ecology, and Ecology Without Nature.

“I did my dissertation on food in the Romantic period, which is related to ecological issues,” Morton said in a press release. “Gradually, I’ve come out as an ecological thinker. This is the latest in a series of books in which I’m mostly talking about how we think about ecology and how we deal with it as a cultural issue.”

The book proposes combining ecological thinking with a reformed Christianity, one that sheds its harmful aspects like “settler-colonial Christianity” and embraces themes like mercy and forgiveness.

Morton’s approach is inspired by African American Christianity, challenges white supremacy and other forms of domination. “I feel very much that people like me need to have a serious conversation with religion,” Morton said. “We’ve hoovered up everybody who understands the issue in a certain way and understands the science and all that, but we want to talk to everybody.”

Susan Barreto
Susan Barreto

Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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