Charles Sturt University
PACT - Public and Contextual Theology

Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene

Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene

By PaCT Assistant Director Dr Jonathan Cole

Last year, Rev’d Dr Peter Walker and I informed readers that we were seeking a publisher for a volume of essays on the theological implications of the Anthropocene, the culmination of a series of seminars hosted by the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology in Canberra between 2017 and 2020. It is our very great pleasure to announce that we recently signed a contract with Lexington Books to publish the volume under the working title of Defiant Earth: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene. The volume is to be published in Lexington’s Religious Ethics and Environmental Challenges series. The manuscript has now been sent to reviewers and we anticipate publication in 2022.

As the introduction to the volume notes, CSU Prof Clive Hamilton’s book Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene “is the sun around which the contributions to this volume orbit.” Hamilton’s internationally recognised writings on the philosophical and ethical implications of the Anthropocene has shaped the structure and content of the volume.

The volume begins with Hamilton’s own essay “The Anthropocene Epoch and Its Meaning,” which is followed by ten contributing essays, with each exploring the theological implications of Hamilton’s insights regarding the new ontology of the Anthropocene. Collectively, the essays investigate the impact of the Anthropocene on ecclesiology, eschatology, apocalypse, hamartiology, theological anthropology and the doctrine of creation. The volume concludes with Hamilton’s response to the contributing essays and his reflections on the prospects for continued fruitful dialogue between theologians and secular thinkers regarding humanity’s collective fate in the Anthropocene. In that regard, Hamilton is of the view that “theology, unlike modern philosophy, has the conceptual resources to…help us grasp the reconfiguration of the human condition on an Earth rendered dangerous and uncontrollable.”

It has been an honour to co-edit the volume with Peter Walker, and on behalf of both of us, I would like to thank our contributors: Prof Clive Hamilton, Prof Lisa Sideris, Rt Rev’d Prof Stephen Pickard, Prof Mark Brett, Dr Dianne Rayson, Rev’d Prof Scott Cowdell, A/Prof David Neville, Prof Christiaan Mostert and A/Prof Clive Pearson, and all the other scholars who participated in one or more of the seminars that led to the genesis of this project.

Image: Professor Lisa Sideris at the 2018 consultation at the Chambers Pavilion at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture