Greening the Children of God

Thomas Traherne and Nature's Role in the Ecological Formation of Children

By Chad Michael Rimmer

Greening the Children of God

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  • ISBN: 9781532653308
  • Pages: 276
  • Publication Date: 10/2/2019
  • Retail Price: $33.00
Web Price: $26.40
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $26.40

Greening the Children of God

Thomas Traherne and Nature's Role in the Ecological Formation of Children

By Chad Michael Rimmer

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532653308
  • Pages: 276
  • Publication Date: 10/2/2019
  • Retail Price: $33.00
Web Price: $26.40
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

Greening the Children of God uncovers the theological roots of the growing ethical imperative to reconnect children to their natural environment. Theologians emphasize the sacramental nature of embedding our lives in creation. Environmental educators emphasize knowledge of local biology. Psychologists emphasize the morally pro-formative experience of care between biodiverse creatures. Together they affirm that knowing their place in the natural environment helps a child develop an intersubjective “ecological” identity that nurtures virtues of mutuality and care. During the Scientific Revolution this ethical harmony was threatened as science and moral theology began to adopt different epistemological methods. Seventeenth-century Anglican priest and poet Thomas Traherne was prescient of the consequences of this divorce and insisted that education should promote a child’s attention to the moral dimensions woven into “the tapestry of creation.” Traherne professed that play, wonder, and a sensory relationship to diverse creatures play a pedagogical role in a child’s moral formation. Greening the Children of God establishes the contemporary significance of Traherne’s moral theory in conversation with child psychologists, educators, philosophers, and theologians who know that cultivating a place-based relationship to the local ecology helps children perceive creation’s deep mutuality and develop a moral identity in the image of a caring Creator.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“‘No child outdoors’ is a sad trend in modern society, but Rimmer shows an exit blazed by Thomas Traherne, an early-modern thinker who traced God’s love throughout creation. Where others settled for mind against matter, and science against faith, Traherne saw nature and grace to be interrelated in empirical details, and keyed on wonder in moral formation. Readers disheartened by the environmental crisis may find in Greening the Children of God a map to hope.”

—Gilson Waldkoenig, United Lutheran Seminary



“In this lucidly written book Chad Rimmer makes a superb case for the ethical imperative to reconnect children with the natural world both for their own wellbeing and as the way to recover a multigenerational sense of responsibility for Earth and her threatened habitats and species. This book is impressively interdisciplinary combining an illuminating new reading of the Anglican spiritual writings of Thomas Traherne and revealing an eco-phenomenological depth to his writing for the first time, while also engaging the latest insights from child and developmental psychology and long-established principles of moral psychology on the formation of moral character. It turns out that the way to redeem nature from the currently destructive trajectory of industrial civilization involves the redemption of children and adults from the modern pathologies of individualism, consumerism, and competitive stress—by getting outside and being outside, and especially in forests and gardens, by water or in mountains. Humans cannot ‘save’ the earth unless they learn their need of Earth and her creatures to save them!”

—Professor Michael Northcott, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Contributors-

Chad Michael Rimmer

Bio(s)-

Chad Michael Rimmer is an ordained Lutheran pastor and currently serves as the Program Executive for Lutheran Theology and Practice at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also the author of several articles, and the collection of poetry titled, Yellow: Chemopoetry from a Caretaker’s Journey.

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