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Publisher's Weekly

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

New Titles Call Care for Earth a Sacred Act

By Cathy Lynn Grossman |

Feb 10, 2021

President Joe Biden has proclaimed that concern for the environment and the challenges of climate change will infuse his agenda in office. And religion publishers are ready for this increased national focus with half a dozen upcoming titles that bring a spiritual perspective to our relationship with the planet.

Valerie Weaver-Zercher, an acquisitions editor at Broadleaf, an imprint of Fortress that launched in January 2020, tells PW, “If we claim to publish books to foster a more open, just, and compassionate world, how could we not be publishing on the climate crisis? To look away from mass extinction, or sea level rise, or climate refugees and more would be irresponsible. We would not be aligned with the progressive Christian faith tradition we profess. If we are publishing on the topics that occupy the mind, heart and spirit, we have to address our relationship with the earth.”

She points to Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred, by Victoria Loorz, a founder of the Wild Church Network. Due out in October, the book, Weaver-Zercher says, “is not only for the ministry audience, but it’s also a springboard for Victoria’s reflections on wild spirituality. She writes that no matter how you define God, you encounter God in nature. And through nature, we must find a spirituality that undergirds our work for the survival of the species.” Loorz, an ordained minister and environmental activist, aims for a broad audience of Christians, unaffiliated believers, and spiritual but not religious folks.

There is a connecting thread running through Loorz's book and three more titles from Broadleaf plus books from HarperOne and the Golden Sufi Center. They speak of a sacred connection to the earth and the insights, pleasures – and the responsibilities – this relationship means for humankind.

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