Ecological Ethics: Resources

This page provides a range of key resources on ecological or environmental ethics. Most, but not all, of these are available online (some though requiring a subscription to be accessed).

The initial section points to some helpful introductory pieces followed by pointing to important discussions focussed on Scripture and then more general contemporary writings by a range of key authors.

There follows a selection of resources particularly focussed on Scripture before more general discussions (often engaging with Scripture) are provided.

The final section provides links to resources from different Christian networks and churches.

Last Updated on 2 March, 2021 by Andrew Goddard

Dictionary Articles & Readers

IVP New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology article on Environment (pp. 349-52)

SCM New Dictionary of Christian Ethics article on “Environmental Ethics” (pp. 196-8)

Dictionary of Scripture & Ethics article on “Ecological Ethics” by David Horrell (pp. 255-60). Also “Animals” (69-71), “Creation Ethics” (189-92) and “Stewardship” (747-50)

Robin Gill’s A Textbook of Christian Ethics (2014, T&T Clark, 4th edition), Section 4, is devoted to the environment and includes an introduction (pp. 345-50) and key texts from Augustine, Aquinas and Luther (351-79) which will orient you to the tradition’s discussion.  There are then extracts and commentary on six more recent discussions (380-434) which you may wish to at least sample.

Scripture

An important argument has been made, classically by Lynn White, that the Christian tradition and its Scriptures are part of the problem we face in relation to the environment.  The original article is “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis”.

There is a very short video (not even 90 seconds!) from Professor David Horrell explaining this perspective and introducing the work of Lynn White.  If you wish to explore this further then see Horrell’s Is Christianity To Blame? page (and other resources on the Beyond Stewardship? web site)


For engagements with the Scriptures in this area see the resources at the “Use of the Bible in Environmental Ethics” website and sample from the following:

The work of Richard Bauckham including


The work of David Horrell including (in addition to the dictionary article above):

More widely than on Scripture but with many helpful resources for this essay see his Beyond Stewardship website.


The work of Jonathan Moo with others:

  • Douglas Moo & Jonathan Moo, Creation Care: A Biblical Theology of the Natural World (2018, Zondervan).  Jonathan Moo gives a 25 minute presentation on the theme here and Douglas Moo has a similar length video on “What Do Christians Have to Do with Creation?”.  There is also a short interview with Jonathan Moo here.
  • Jonathan Moo & Robert S. White, Hope in an Age of Despair: The Gospel and the Future of Life on Earth (2013, IVP).  The two authors also wrote a short Ethics in Brief on “Environmental Apocalypse and Christian Hope”.
  • Jonathan Moo & Robin Routledge (eds), As Long as the Earth Endures: The Bible, Creation And The Environment (2014, IVP)

The work of Sandra Richter:


A few other articles:

Contemporary Environmental Ethics

Among the best contributors here are:

Michael Northcott who has many papers on his Academia page:


Timothy Gorringe:


Celia Deane-Drummond:


Other Resources:


Much Christian ethics in relation to creation care focuses on a theology of creation but it also needs to be related to our eschatological hope – is there redemption of creation and if so in what sense and with what ethical and missional significance for us today?  In exploring further the question of new creation and its relation to our ethical responsibilities to creation the following may be helpful

Eschatology Shapes Ethics: New Creation and Christian Ecological Virtue Ethics” by Steve Bouma-Prediger.  See also his For the Beauty of the Earth (2001, Baker Academic; 2nd edn in 2010 with intro and chpt 1 here) and most recently Earthkeeping and Character: Exploring a Christian Ecological Virtue Ethic (2019, Baker).

Environmental Apocalypse and Christian Hope” by Robert White (a geo-physicist) and Jonathan Moo (biblical scholar), KLICE Ethics in Brief (2011, 17.1)

Matthew Emerson’s “Does God Own a Death Star? The Destruction of the Cosmos in 2 Peter 3:1-13” in SouthWest Journal of Theology (2015).

Richard J. Middleton and his recent “A New Heaven and A New Earth” (Baker 2014).  A short summary of his discussion of some key New Testament texts is here and a (not very well recorded) video of a presentation of his work is on YouTube.

Useful academic resource sites include:

Resources from Christian Churches and Networks

All Christian churches and various networks of Christians have begun addressing the serious ethical questions we face relating to care of creation, most notably climate change but also many others. Below are some of the various statements from a number of churches and other Christian bodies in recent years (or summaries of them).   


Anglican Communion documents:

Stewardship of Creation, a declaration from 2002.

The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice, Good Friday 2015.

See also the Anglican Communion Environmental Network


Church of England

Resources on the environment and climate change


Roman Catholic Church

The most important statement now is Pope Francis’ latest (2015) papal encyclical Laudato Si.  As this is rather long and you may not have time to read it all, the following offer helpful outlines, overviews and summaries:

Vatican News

Fellowship of Catholic University Students

Acton Institute

Although widely praised, a critique was offered of its approach to climate change (“well-meaning but somewhat naïve”) by The Bishop of Chester and another peer to which Bishop David Atkinson responded


Joint Orthodox – Roman Catholic Statement

Common Declaration of Pope John Paul II and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew At the Fourth Ecological Symposium on the Adriatic Sea, 2002.


Methodist Church

Hope in God’s Future (summary on pp 4-5).


Evangelical Statement

On the Care of Creation from 1994 [as PDF here]


Southern Baptists

Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change, 2008


Assemblies of God

Environmental Protection


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice, 1993 [or short summary]


Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

Together With All Creatures: Caring for God’s Living Earth (expanded version):

Together With All Creatures: Caring for God’s Living Earth (abbreviated version in colour):

The Center for the Care of Creation at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis:


Operation Noah

Climate Change and the Purposes of God, Ash Wednesday 2012.


Lausanne Movement

Videos from the 2012 Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel

Lausanne Global Classroom: Creation Care [a set of educational videos]

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