Fortress Press

Is It Too Late?: A Theology of Ecology

Is It Too Late?

A Theology of Ecology

John B. Cobb Jr. (Author)


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In the fifty years since its initial publication, Is It Too Late? has proven its prescience in ways both significant and dire. As the first book-length philosophical and theological analysis of the environmental crisis, this work introduced a generation to the key elements of crisis while suggesting ways that religion can be a force for hope rather than an instrument of despair. Covering an ambitious range of issues--from deforestation to abortion, from religious views of the natural world to the need for technological innovation to avoid nature's destruction--John Cobb moves deftly from philosophical to theological to scientific learning and integrates these interdisciplinary insights into a compelling vision for what he calls "a new Christianity." Comprehensive in scope, non-technical in expression, and concise in length, Is It Too Late? provides the scholar and the student alike with a readable and compelling orientation to the philosophical and theological stakes of ecology. This Fortress edition includes a new preface in which Cobb reflects on the current situation, the specific promises and perils we now face, and how his own thinking on matters theological and ecological has evolved in the last half century.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506471235
  • eBook ISBN 9781506471242
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 157
  • Publication Date April 20, 2021


"A prophet does not see the future: a prophet sees what is present and where it is leading. Cobb, a lonely prophet who, like Cassandra, saw in stunning detail more than most could accept. Now, he points us toward saving what can still be saved in the shrinking interval left to us."

Daniel C. Maguire, Marquette University

"Cobb is one of the few theologians who can release a book 50 years later with both timeless philosophical truths and contemporary relevance. With both repentance and hope, Cobb shows how a commitment to deep relationality propels Christians to care for the natural world."

Monica A. Coleman, University of Delaware

"The planet has changed dramatically since 1972. It is even more remarkable that Cobb's response holds up so well and remains a deeply probing effort to find our way to a reconstructed Christianity amid profoundly altered conditions. Cobb's fifty-year retrospective is itself a treasure that complements the original work."

Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary

"Fifty years ago, Cobb realized that neither classical Christian theology nor modern secular culture and its philosophers provided an adequate foundation for enthusiastic ecological responsibility. The new preface and updated bibliography make this edition a valuable resource for students, teachers, and anyone else interested in the liberation of life."

John F. Haught, Georgetown University

"The preface of this edition helps to interrupt the white Christian protestant norm in the field and reminds us of the connection between earth justice, interfaith dialogue, racial and social justice. Detailing his own 50 year theological journey alongside the journey of this book, new insights from Cobb read like gifts. They help us chart a path towards ecological reparations and give us hope for churches and the world."

Melanie L. Harris, Texas Christian University