Paul Santmire has been a leader in the field of ecological theology and ethics for more than fifty years. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), he has served as a teaching theologian, churchwide activist, and parish pastor. He was one of the theological writers of the ELCA’s 1993 social teaching statement on the environment, Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice.
Paul is the author of Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (1970), The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (1985), Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology (2000), Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis (2008), Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality (2014), Behold the Lilies: Jesus and the Contemplation of Nature (2018), and Celebrating Nature by Faith: Studies in Reformation Theology in an Era of Global Emergency (2020). He dedicated the last book to LRC founder David Rhoads and to all his LRC partners.
Of Celebrating Nature by Faith, United Lutheran Seminary professor of theology, John Hoffmeyer, has written: “No theologian alive in the United States today has contributed more to a Christian theology of nature than Paul Santmire. This book brims with insights gathered and honed over more than a half century of prodding and equipping others to rise to the challenge of a cosmically capacious and materially grounded theology capable of meeting the ecological crisis facing our world today.”
Paul’s has been a critical voice for ecojustice and the celebration of nature since he first completed his Harvard doctoral dissertation on Karl Barth’s theology of nature in 1966 and subsequently became a champion of ecofeminism at Wellesley College, where he served as Chaplain and Lecturer in Religion for twelve years. He is eager to continue to support the commitments of a new generation of church ecojustice advocates and activists.