What are the links between spirituality and the evolution of the cosmos during the past almost 15 billion years? How does a sense of the sacred inspire and influence our relationship with the natural world? How can a spiritual life guide us in responding to the ecological crisis we face now as humans? In some religious contexts aspiring to be ‘green’ is associated with secularism and left-leaning politics. Not for medieval saints Francis of Assisi and Hildegard of Bingen!
Ecological Spirituality – Caring for our Common Home sets out to show that love of the Creator, love for each other and love of our Earth are three facets of the same diamond. There is a great gift of tenderness and love in finding the sacred in all things, the imprint of God’s love. We can discover those gifts if we live contemplatively, opening our bodies and souls to the variety and abundant beauty of creation.
Trish Hindmarsh explores what it means to be ‘spiritual’ and discusses the opportunities to discern what decisions and actions are needed right now to live out an ecological spirituality, responding wholeheartedly to this most serious ‘sign of our times’, and dreaming a better future for our children.
Ecological Spirituality is designed to provide a stimulus for individuals, groups, parishes, seminaries, ministries and schools, and all who are concerned about the environment. There are guiding questions for discussion at the end of each chapter. Many people from all walks of life want to respond to the call from deep within to ‘Care for our Common Home’. This is Pope Francis’ phrase and the sub-title of his encyclical Laudato Si, which is a major resource for this work.
Trish Hindmarsh is a retired teacher and educational leader who worked in Catholic Education across Australia, most recently as Director of Catholic Education in Tasmania. Trish has a lively interest in justice, peace and ecology, and has been part of the Catholic Earthcare Australia Advisory Committee since 2001.
Her doctoral studies relate to education for ecological sustainability within Catholic school settings. Trish continues active involvement in adult education and formation in university, school, parish and group settings and is committed to working collaboratively for Church renewal and reform.
”Ecological Spirituality – Caring for our Common Home is an accessible book, combining inspiration with practicality and an ideal resource for use in parishes, educational and other group settings. It could not be more timely and promises to become an important resource in understanding Pope Francis' call to ‘Care for our Common Home’, both through contemplation of the gifts of creation and through an ‘ecological conversion’, empowering us to live in gratitude for the gifts of creation. The book recommends responsible steps we can take to love and care for Mother Earth, in the spirit of St Francis of Assisi, the universal patron of environment and ecology.”
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, O.F.M Conv.,
Bishop of Parramatta and Chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service.
”Ecological Spirituality – Caring for our Common Home is a most timely and attractive publication. Trish Hindmarsh’s unfailing personal commitment to gospel-inspired ecological justice finds expression in every word and every image. At this time of planetary distress, her work offers an invaluable resource for personal reflection and for faith educators in churches, parishes and schools.”
Veronica Lawson RSM PhD, eco-feminist biblical scholar.
Author of The Blessing of Mercy; Bible Perspectives and Ecological Challenges
This is a very readable introduction to ecological theology and spirituality. It is well researched and well written, offering a Christian response to the ecological crisis of our day. Following the leadership of Pope Francis it emphasises our responsibility as disciples of Jesus to pray and work for climate change in our world.
The Revd Canon Prof Dorothy A. Lee FAHA
Stewart Research Professor of New Testament
Trinity College Theological School
University of Divinity, Melbourne
Watch Trish Hindmarsh as she talks about her new book, Ecological Spirituality, and why she wrote it.