Fortress Press

Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation

Resisting Structural Evil

Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation

Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda (Author)


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Ecojustice, social justice, and the Christian conscience

Key Features:
  • Mapping the ethical terrain of an imperiled planet
  • Convincingly showing how ecojustice relates to economic justice
  •  Rethinking Christian ethics in light of the ecological crisis
The increasingly pressing situation of Planet Earth poses urgent ethical questions for Christians. But, as Cynthia Moe-Lobeda argues, the future of the earth is not simply a matter of protecting species and habitats but of rethinking the very meaning of Christian ethics. The earth crisis cannot be understood apart from the larger human crisis—economic equity, social values, and human purpose are bound up with the planet's survival. In a sense, she says, the whole earth is a moral community.

Reorienting Christian ethics from its usual anthropocentrism to an ecocentrism entails a new framework that Moe-Lobeda lays out in her first chapters, culminating in a creative rethinking of how it is that we understand morally. With this "moral epistemology" in place, she unfolds her notion of "moral vision" and applies it to the present situation in a full-fledged earth-honoring, justice-seeking Christian ethical stance.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451462678
  • eBook ISBN 9781451426397
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 309
  • Publication Date March 1, 2013


"This is a grand prophetic book motivated by love and focused on justice—social justice, ecological justice, and dignity for 'the least of these.' Don't miss it!"
—Cornel West
Union Theological Seminary

“This book is a gift to all …. consumers looking for a way out of their addiction. Those of us (myself included) who know our excessive consumption is causing ecological and economic disasters should read Professor Moe-Lobeda’s new book. It is the best one-volume analysis of our moral dilemma I know of and, even better, it suggests principles and practices to help deal with it.”
—Sallie McFague
Vancouver School of Theology

"Cynthia Moe-Lobeda's Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological and Economic Transformation  takes the form of a powerful contribution to Christian ethics, but in fact it is also a major contribution to anyone in any religious or spiritual tradition who seeks to maintain both a commitment to God and to global healing and transformation. Easily accessible and charming in presentation, deep in its ability to confront difficult issues squarely and in a nuanced way, courageous in insisting that we see reality not only as it is but as it could be if we were willing to be "unrealistic" for a few moments, manifesting daring of thought combined with a pervasive humility—this is a true classic of spiritual progressive consciousness, packed full of ideas that should be taught in every college and university and religious seminary, every church, synagogue, mosque and ashram!"
—Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, Tikkun Magazine
Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives

"Moe-Lobeda provides a powerful resource for those who want to understand and face structural evil by exploring ways to resist and dismantle it. Written in clear and lucid prose, she provides us a compelling and at times moving testament that we matter in the work for justice and sustainable relationships between humans and the earth. This is an invitation to embrace a future in which we live in ways so that abundant life is available for all and the world no longer groans from the violence we visit upon it. Moe-Lobeda's deep and grounded spirituality moves us away from the fresh hell of human and ecological violence to the abiding hope that we can and must make a difference by changing the ways we live in God's good creation."
—Emilie Townes
Yale University

"The vast majority of the writing and speaking that surrounds us in the newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, and university classrooms and lecture halls takes for granted the basic structures and practices of the present world order, despite their rendering billions of people destitute and the planet uninhabitable. The best of it, for the most part, tells us how to moderate the evils of the system without redirecting it. A very small part deals with the system as a whole and its unthinkable consequences. Within that part still less combines unflinching realism with a convincing gospel of hope. This book is a shining example of this tiny body of writing that responds wisely and well to what is incomparably the most important need of our time. May it initiate, at least among Christians, the widespread metanoia apart from which the world will not survive."
—John Cobb
Claremont Graduate School

"This book is about the moral oblivion that hides the structural sins that we commit via the built-in economic exploitation of other people and of God's good but finite Creation. Attention is given to the spiritual sources of love, courage, and discernment needed to challenge the overwhelming present force of economistic idolatry. Christians should especially welcome this book, but others will also find it valuable."
—Herman Daly
Former senior economist, Environmental Department, World Bank
University of Maryland, School of Public Policy

"This is great….We badly need new doors into the greatest set of problems humans have ever faced. This prayerful amalgamation of deep concern for social justice and a healthy mystic sense of what might inspire it—it's a blend that could provide great help."
—Bill McKibben
Leading American environmentalist, author, and journalist

Schumann Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Middlebury College

"With a holy impatience, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda joins Jesus and the prophets of Israel by doing biblically based, analytically tough shock therapy on the corporate powers that are wrecking our earth, exploiting the poor, and blinding our eyes. It is a wake-up call to somnambulant Christians. This book is theopolitical dynamite!"
—Daniel Maguire
Marquette University

"At a time when religious morality seems narrowly focused on personal behaviors, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda reminds us that the biggest sins of all are those we do not readily see in our daily lives. Through powerful stories of suffering and exploited people around the globe, and a clear analysis of the institutional and economic sources of injustice, she calls our attention to the ways by which our lifestyles, without our seeing it, lead to death and misery far from our shores. She asks us to understand that loving our neighbor requires far more than personal charity and goodwill; in fact, it requires a fundamental change in our hearts and our society. But though it challenges us profoundly as people of faith, this is book is no grim jeremiad; it offers profound hope, vision and ideas for remaking our world in justice while becoming more contented ourselves. It should be required reading for Bible-study groups and all who care about the impact of their lives in the wider world."
—John de Graaf
Film-maker and co-author, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic    

"Cynthia Moe-Lobeda's book is one of the strongest statements yet to be made on the intricate connections between ecology and justice. The powerful stories and persuasive arguments lay the groundwork for the necessary transformations ahead. It will be a catalyst for change!"
—Mary Evelyn Tucker,
Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University


Review in Choice

Review on EcoPreacher Blog

Review in Religious Studies Review

Supplement to Chapter Two