Ecotheology of the Hexameron
A conversation with Professor Dr. Kate Rigby and Jake Sherman
1.5-Hour Online Conversation
Please join the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion program for an online event as we host Dr. Kate Rigby to discuss the publication of her new book, Meditations on Creation in an Era of Extinction, moderated by Jake Sherman.
This book practices an ancient form of theological reflection – the hexameron – on creation and attends to current concerns for the well-being of creation amid changing climates, anthropogenic pollution, and, possibly, the next mass extinction event. Rigby takes each day of the Genesis 1 creation narrative as the launching point for critical theological engagement with early writers like Basil of Caesarea and Ambrose of Milan, with contemporary concerns about the state of our planet's well-being, and with faith-based initiatives from around the world that are contributing to the healing and restoration of the world. By attending to planetary well-being, Rigby's unique and striking approach to the hexameron captures both the devastation of current anthropogenic climate change and the precious hope for salvific healing in Shalom.
Professor Dr. Kate Rigby (Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities) is Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Environmental Humanities at the University of Cologne, where she leads a research hub for Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Humanities, and visiting scholar in the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University. Her research lies at the intersection of environmental literary, philosophical, historical and religious studies, with a specialist interest in European Romanticism, ecopoetics, multispecies studies, and disaster studies. She was the inaugural President of the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture (Australia-New Zealand), and the founding Director of the Australia-Pacific Forum on Religion and Ecology. A founding co-editor of the journal Philosophy Activism Nature, she also co-edited the University Press of Virginia series, Under the Sign of Nature, and her books include Topographies of the Sacred: The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism (2004), Dancing with Disaster: Environmental Histories, Narratives, and Ethics for Perilous Times (2015), Reclaiming Romanticism: Towards an Ecopoetics of Decolonization (2020) and Meditations on Creation in an Era of Extinction (2023).
Jake Sherman is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Chair of the program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at CIIS. He teaches, as well, in the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion program at CIIS. Professor Sherman received his PhD in philosophy of religion from the University of Cambridge. He taught previously at King’s College London and from 2014 – 17 held a visiting appointment as University Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Cambridge. By training a philosopher, theologian, and religious studies scholar, he is the author of Partakers of the Divine: Contemplation and the Practice of Philosophy, and editor, with Jorge Ferrer, of The Participatory Turn: Spirituality, Mysticism, Religious Studies. The author of over two dozen peer-review articles, essays, and chapters, his writings have appeared in publications such as The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Modern Theology, the International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, and Theology and Science. He is an elected Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion, serves on the steering committee for the Contemplative Studies Unity at the American Academy of Religion, and is the Owen Barfield Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies.