In 2013 a group of friends—and, at the time, seminarians—set out to create a digital space for thoughtful discussions around faith and ecology. At the time they had various, mostly contrasting, ideas of what that would actually look like. However, they were always in agreement upon two goals which have served as guideposts ever since.
The first was to connect faith and ecological communities in conversation. This came from recognition that both Christians and ecologists were engaging in parallel, but insular, dialogues. This lack of communication has likewise resulted in a fair share of misconceptions about the other side. We at the EcoTheo Review believe that religion and ecology are in no way mutually exclusive and it is our contention that by working together, better, more meaningful work is accomplished.
Second, we set out to publish works that create lasting affection toward the natural world. The daily barrage of facts, figures, and data surrounding the escalating degradation of earth and her many habitats has done little in creating individuals and communities of care. When faced with statistics alone, it is hard to develop any sense of sympathy or responsibility. As Wendell Berry said in his Jefferson Lecture, entitled ‘It All Turns on Affection,’ “We don’t learn much from big numbers. We don’t understand them very well, and we are not much affected by them.” So we have made art and story our centerpieces, that they might inspire imaginations and cultivate affection toward the natural world. For true, lasting change will come from those who are invested in their communities, both human and ecological. As Berry has said elsewhere, “We have the world to live in on the condition that we will take good care of it. And to take good care of it, we have to know it. And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.”
Our efforts in accomplishing these two goals have led to our website and digital quarterly, with the desire of beginning a conversation that will lead to combined and sustained efforts as diverse as the local communities that embody them. It is our desire, too, that the writing, photography, visual arts, and poetry we publish will not only inform but create a lasting affection toward creation and all that is within it.
Ultimately, our hope is that your exploration of the many pieces found within the site and quarterly lead from affection to action. With that we leave you with a favorite quote of ours at The EcoTheo Review:
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Are you on-board?
If you care about faith and ecology, we’d like to know about it. Whether you’ve got a story idea, are a painter, a pastor, an activist, or an ecologist, we hope you’ll feel at home. We accept submissions of work including op-eds, articles, book reviews, interviews, poetry, photography, drawing, painting, reviews, sermons, and more.