There is widespread understanding of the close connection between religion and the ecological crisis, and that in order to amend this crisis, theological resources are needed. This monograph seeks to contribute to this endeavor by engaging the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His theology is particularly suitable in this context, due to its open-ended nature, and to the prophetic and radical nature of the questions he was prepared to ask--that is why there are many other attempts to contextualize Bonhoeffer's theology in areas that he himself has not directly written about. In this monograph, Steven van den Heuvel first of all addresses the question of how to translate Bonhoeffer's theology in a methodologically sound way. He settles on a modified form of the general method of correlation. Then, secondly, van den Heuvel sets out to describe five major concepts in Bonhoeffer's work, bringing these into critical interplay with discussions in environmental ethics and eco-theology. In making the correlations he thoroughly describes each concept, situating it in the historic and intellectual background of Bonhoeffer's time. He then transposes these concepts to contemporary environmental ethics, describing what contribution Bonhoeffer's theology can make.
""Steven van de Heuvel does not make Dietrich Bonhoeffer into an 'ecotheologian avant la letter,' but he convincingly shows that in his earth-oriented theology, Bonhoeffer is a crucial conversation partner for twenty-first-century environmental ethics."" --Frits de Lange, Professor of Ethics, Extraordinary Professor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; author of Loving Later Life: An Ethics of Aging
""In this splendid book, the author brings Bonhoeffer into a theologically well-informed and hermeneutically reflective conversation with environmental ethics. No other work has hitherto shown in such depth the importance of Bonhoeffer's Christology with its attendant key concepts of eschatology, Stellvertretung, responsible action, mandates, the natural, and theological anthropology for eco-theology. This is an important and much-needed contribution to Bonhoeffer studies and environmental ethics."" --Jens Zimmermann, Canada Research Professor for Intepretation, Religion, and Culture, Trinity Western University; Visiting Professor for Philosophy, Theology, and Literature, Regent College, Vancouver
""In this book, van den Heuvel not only shows a profound knowledge and thorough analysis of the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but also an admirable skill to apply the results of his research to the present discussion on environmental ethics. Undoubtedly a major achievement!"" --Gerard den Hertog, Theological University Apeldoorn (NL)
Steven C. van den Heuvel is Postdoctoral Researcher in Systematic Theology & Ethics at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven (Belgium), as well as Senior Researcher at the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics.