Happy Friday! Today is day five of my two-week countdown to the publication of Old English Ecotheology, and to celebrate the weekend I’m sharing a discount code!!
Use the discount code Pub_OEE to save 20% on Old English Ecotheology through October 16th!
I’m so excited to share a sneak peak of the first chapter today. If you’ve read the table of contents (available here along with the introduction to the book!) you may have noticed that the first chapter has a familiar name: Old English Ecotheology. The first chapter sets the foundation for the rest of the book by arguing for the existence of–you guessed it–a uniquely Old English style of ecotheology.
The stars of this chapter are Wulfstan and Ælfric: as I suggested on Wednesday, their combined homilies offer a unique glance into 11th century English theology. This first chapter brings them into conversation with a modern collective of ecotheologians known as the Earth Bible Team, whose “ecojustice principles” offer a useful distillation of Anglophone Christian ecotheology in the 21st century.
The work of Ælfric and Wulfstan, produced in the shadow of the first millennium, in many ways anticipates the modern field of ecotheology, born in the years preceding the second. Like their modern counterparts, Ælfric and Wulfstan affirmed the interconnectedness of human and other-than-human beings as members of an increasingly fragile Earth community. They affirmed the intrinsic worth of the other-than-human, and the ability of the Earth community to cry against injustice and resist human domination. Crucially, Ælfric and Wulfstan also explicitly condemn humanity’s failure to be faithful custodians of creation. Reading the medieval texts against the modern demonstrates the existence of an Old English ecotheology which anticipates many of the questions raised by the current climate crisis.