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Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics
Norman C. Habel, Peter Trudinger, editors
Publication Date
May 2008


What has hermeneutics to do with ecology? What texts, if any, come to mind when you consider what the scriptures might say about environmental ethics? To help readers think critically and clearly about the Bible’s relation to modern environmental issues, this volume expands the horizons of biblical interpretation to introduce ecological hermeneutics, moving beyond a simple discussion about Earth and its constituents as topics to a reading of the text from the perspective of Earth. In these groundbreaking essays, sixteen scholars seek ways to identify with Earth as they read and retrieve the role or voice of Earth, a voice previously unnoticed or suppressed within the biblical text and its interpretation. This study enriches eco-theology with eco-exegesis, a radical and timely dialogue between ecology and hermeneutics. The contributors are Vicky Balabanski, Laurie Braaten , Norman Habel, Theodore Hiebert, Cameron Howard, Melissa Tubbs Loya, Hilary Marlow, Susan Miller, Raymond Person, Alice Sinnott, Kristin Swenson, Sigve Tonstad, Peter Trudinger, Marie Turner, Elaine Wainwright, and Arthur Walker-Jones.

Norman C. Habel, Ph.D. (1964), Concordia Seminary, is Professorial Fellow at Flinders University of South Australia. He is editor of the five-volume series, The Earth Bible (Pilgrim Press).

Peter Trudinger, Ph.D. (2002), in Hebrew Bible (Psalms), Emory University, is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Flinders University, and the author of The Psalms of the Tamid Service: A Liturgical Text from the Second Temple (Brill).

“Each [essay] stands in its own right and is worthy of careful reading. These essays invite biblical scholars, theologians, and their students to not only see the texts considered differently, but also read other texts with ecological hermeneutics of suspicion, identification, and retrieval. Importantly, they call us to shift our reading focus toward the Earth community in which we are situated.”
— Anne Elvey, Biblical Interpretation

“The ecocentric reading produces a wealth of original interpretations and diverse ideas and this book is to be welcomed, alongside the Earth Bible Series, as a helpful resource in this exciting new area of research.”
— K. J. Dell, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament