New Textbook Explores Australian and Indian Perspectives on Eco-theology

A new eco-theological text book edited by a Uniting Church minister aims to help pastors in India to grapple with issues related to climate change.

Published by ISPCK, Cross-cultural Eco-theology in an Indian Ocean Context was co-edited by Rev. Dr David Reichardt. Rev. Dr Reichardt is Minister of the Word at Normanhurst Uniting Church.  While the book’s primary audience is Indian pastors, it is sure to be of interest to Uniting Church readers.

The book is a unique joint effort between Australian and Indian theologians and other writers. Many of the book’s eight chapters is co-authored between an Australian and an Indian author, with a reflection at the end. Renowned theologian Rev. Dr Chilkuri Vasantha Rao was the other co-author.

Rev. Dr Reichardt told Insights that his relationship with India started in the early 1980s, when he worked to set up a small laboratory at a leprosy colony.

Rev. Dr Reichardt co-wrote the first chapter with Wati Longhar. This chapter, he said, is “on the importance of getting the Indian context on eco-theology.”

Divided into three discrete sections, the book deals with the need for Indian eco-theology, “the resources of faith”, and eco-theology and eschatology. Former Uniting Church president, Dr Dean Drayton wrote the book’s epilogue. Chapter six was written by Uniting Earth Web’s Jessica Morthorpe and Shubha Keerthana.

“Clive [Pearson] insisted that I provide a couple of eco-theological sermons” he recalled.

He also included a short article on how to prepare such a sermon. The book, which has been in the works for the past two years, launched recently in India.

“They seem to be happy with how it is doing over there,” he said.

According to Rev. Dr Reichardt, if sales continue to go well, the book may be translated into Hindi.

Cross-cultural Eco-theology In An Indian Ocean Context is yet to launch in Australia, but is currently available online.

Rev. Dr Reichardt is also currently selling copies, although more will be available after late March’s Australian launch at the Centre for Ministry in North Parramatta. Insights will have more details when they are finalised.

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor




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