Book release: Quakers, Creation Care, & Sustainability

This weekend, my first book was released! I co-edited the volume Quakers, Creation Care, and Sustainability with Stephen Potthoff, the sixth volume in the Quakers and the Disciplines Series for the Friends Association for Higher Education. I’m really excited to launch this collection out into the world! There are 24 chapters written by 27 Friends scholars and activists, or those connected with Quaker colleges. They span a range of topics from Quaker historical figures to building a Quaker ecotheology and connecting Friends thought with others’ work in religion and ecology, and there are sections on Friends approaches to teaching sustainability, as well as a section describing the work of Friends organizations and individuals working on environmental concerns. There are also discussion questions for book groups or classrooms, and there is an appendix with statements Friends have made regarding environmental topics. Download the Introduction here, and you can also send me a request for a PDF of my articles.

Contributors and editors to Quakers, Creation Care, & Sustainability. Left to right: Christy Randazzo, Lonnie Valentine, Paul Anderson (series editor), Cathy Pitzer, Cherice Bock (editor), Stephen Potthoff (editor), Doug Burks, Jim Hood, Walter Sullivan, S. Chagala Ngesa, and Mike Heller at Swarthmore College for the Friends Association for Higher Education conference, June 15, 2019.

We got some really nice critical acclaim for the volume from Philip Clayton, who teachings in religion and ecology at Claremont School of Theology, and Steve Chase, who now works at International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and who used to teach in the environmental studies department at Antioch University New England. Philip Clayton said:

“This is the richest resource on Quakerism and creation care to date! Rooted in deep spirituality and practical experience, the chapters canvas the topic from history to theology, from academics to activism. I have never seen the case for a distinctively Quaker call to stewardship presented with this breadth and force before.”

And Steve Chase observed:

“On page two of George Fox’s Journal, he talked about the three great loves of our religion: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of God’s good earth. This remarkable collection speaks to all three loves in the Quaker past, present, and future. I was inspired and moved by the insights, wisdom, and faithfulness evidenced in this book.”

My contributions to the volume include a chapter entitled: “Quakers & Creation Care: Potentials and Pitfalls for an Ecotheology of Friends,” and a chapter based on a paper I wrote for the American Academy of Religion Quaker Studies Group in 2012 with my friend Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser, “‘Do What You Do in the Wisdom of God’: Theological Resources for Quaker Ecological Action in the Writings of George Fox.” I also interviewed my friend and colleague, Craig Goodworth in a chapter entitled: “Ecotone: Quakerism, Sustainability, Art, and the Boundaries Between.”

Here is the full Table of Contents:

Part I: Ecological Themes in Quaker History

  1. “Do What You Do in the Wisdom of God”: Theological Resources for Quaker Ecological Action in the Writings of George Fox, Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser and Cherice Bock
  2. John Woolman’s Environmental Consciousness, Mike Heller
  3. Quakers and Quaker Farmers in the Colonial and Early Republic Era and the Development of Two Views of Nature, Douglas J. Burks
  4. Ruth Stout, the Queen of Mulch, Jean Mulhern and Cathy Pitzer

Part II: Developing a Quaker Ecotheology

  1. Quakers & Creation Care: Potentials and Pitfalls for an Ecotheology of Friends, Cherice Bock
  2. “The Divine Light of Creation”: Liberal Quaker Metaphors of Divine/Creation Interdependence, Christy Randazzo
  3. Woolman and Wilderness: A Quaker Sacramental Ecology, Jon R. Kershner
  4. Maragoli Shamanism Marries Quaker Christianity, S. Chagala Ngesa
  5. Process Metaphysics for Ecological Survival: Alfred North Whitehead in Conversation with Friends, Lonnie Valentine
  6. Quaker Ecological Foundations and the Universe Story, Laurel Kearns

Part III: Quaker Approaches to the Environment in the Academic Disciplines

  1. A Quaker Educator in Dialogue with Teilhard on the Universe Story, Stephen Potthoff
  2. Reclaiming Natural History: Quakers, Nature, and Education, James W. Hood
  3. Ecotone: Quakerism, Sustainability, Art, and the Boundaries Between, Craig Goodworth with Cherice Bock
  4. How are We to Live? A Quaker Approach to Environmental Ethics and Economics, Robert Howell
  5. Seeking Truth in History and Pedagogy: ReMembering and Decolonizing are Crucial for Sustainability, Sara Jolena Wolcott
  6. Nuclear Power from a Quaker Physicist’s Perspective, Donald A. Smith
  7. The Sustainable Food Systems Major at Guilford College: Food, Environment, and Community, Kyle Dell, Marlene McCauley, and Gail Webster

Part IV: Stories of Sustainability: Individuals and Organizations Living Quaker Ecotheology in Action

  1. Earthcare as a Quaker Value: The Formation and Continued Work of Quaker Earthcare Witness, Shelley Tanenbaum
  2. Earth Quaker Action Team: Reclaiming the Lamb’s War for Justice and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century, Walter Hjelt Sullivan
  3. Collective Discernment at Quaker Institute for the Future, Judy Lumb
  4. How Aotearoa New Zealand Quakers Care for the Planet, Robert Howell
  5. The Building of a Collective Conviction among Quakers Around Sustainability: Friends World Committee for Consultation, Susanna Mattingly
  6. Practicing Quaker Stewardship: One Student’s Experience Implementing Recycling and Food Waste Reduction Programs at Wilmington College, April Mays
  7. Lobbying for an Earth Restored: Friends Committee on National Legislation, Emily Wirzba and Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred


  1. “Toward a Testimony on Conscious Stewardship,” Palo Alto (California) Friends Meeting, USA, 1984
  2. “Environment and Sustainability Minute,” Friends World Committee for Consultation, 22nd FWCC Triennial in Dublin, Ireland, 2007
  3. The Purpose of Quaker Earthcare Witness
  4. Quaker Earthcare Vision and Witness
  5. “Minute on Nuclear Power,” Quaker Earthcare Witness, Burlington, Vermont, USA, 2007
  6. “The Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice,” Friends World Committee for Consultation, Sixth World Conference of Friends at Kabarak University near Nakuru, Kenya, 2012
  7. “Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery,” Quaker Earthcare Witness, 2012
  8. “Facing the Challenge of Climate Change: A shared statement by Quaker groups,” Quaker United Nations Office, Quaker Earthcare Witness, and Friends Committee on National Legislation, 2015
  9. “Living Sustainably and Sustaining Life on Earth — The Minute from the Plenary,” Friends World Committee for Consultation, World Plenary Meeting of Friends, Pisac, Perú, 2016
  10. Resources Relating to Friends and Environmental Concerns on the Web

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