Christianity, Ecology, and the Unity of All Things
A new but ancient vision of the world, where Spirit enfleshes itself within everything that grows, walks, flies, and swims on Earth.
Drawing on the Christian tradition of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, as well as beliefs of Indigenous and non-Western spiritual communities, eco-theologian Mark Wallace will explore a vision of God in all things through a new but ancient vision where Spirit enfleshes itself within everything that grows, walks, flies, and swims on Earth.
Appearing as a winged creature at the time of Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit of the New Testament signals a kind of “Christian animism”—the deep grounding of original faith in the unity of all created things: divine life and birdlife, divinity and animality, spirit and flesh. We will ask whether a recovery of natural divinity in Christian thought can enable faith today to return to its original vision and encourage us to restore our living planet.
About Mark Wallace
Mark I. Wallace, PhD is the Professor of Religion, Environmental Studies, and Interpretation Theory at Swarthmore College. At Swarthmore, he directs the ChesterSemester program in which college students work alongside Chester city partners in high-value internships focused on social and environmental justice. He has been a visiting professor at The University of Pennsylvania, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Japan International Christian University, and is core faculty for the U.S. State Department’s Institutes on Religious Pluralism at Temple University.
Recent books include When God Was a Bird: Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World (Fordham University Press 2019), Green Christianity: Five Ways to a Sustainable Future (Fortress Press 2010) and Finding God in the Singing River: Christianity, Spirit, Nature (Fortress Press 2005). His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Academy of Religion, and the National Endowment of the Humanities. On sabbatical, he recently followed in the footsteps of Teilhard de Chardin and visited the Paleolithic Niaux caves in SW France, which Teilhard and others had rediscovered and reinterpreted in the 1920s.