Books Published: Selected Endorsements Received


Sacramental Commons: Christian Ecological Ethics

Lanham , Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, 2006

Sacramental Commons is an important and inspirational contribution to what Thomas Berry has called the Great Work. Working from deep Christian theology and philosophy, it explains the spiritual content not only of our own lives but also of the material world into which we were born, and to which we owe stewardship. This is an important work.

– Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University ; Pulitzer Prize recipient; author: Biophilia ; The Ants ; and The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

Sacramental Commons is thoughtful, perceptive, and insightful.

- Elie Wiesel, University Professor, Boston University ; 1986 Nobel Peace Laureate

Sacramental Commons is a comprehensive vision of Earth as a natural sacrament. John Hart produces an ecosystemic theology integrated into a sacramental social ecology. It is unsurpassed as a genuine and universal Catholic vision of who we are, where we are, and what we ought to do.

– Holmes Rolston, III, University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University ; author of Environmental Ethics and Conserving Natural Value

Sacramental Commons is a creative new call for all faith traditions to forge a common practice of reverence and care for the earth and its inhabitants. Grounded in a Catholic Christian sense of creation's sacramental disclosure of the sacred, it sings with an ecumenical spirituality of amazement, celebration, and transcendence. John Hart does not minimize the conflict and suffering that often arise from competition in the natural world. Yet he shows the way to an engaged and participatory politics of reconciliation and change, favoring the just coexistence of all Earth's creatures. This book ranges widely in theology and ethics, and would be suitable for a university or seminary theology or ethics course, as well as for general readers who seek to link faith traditions with the ecological challenges of globalization.

– Lisa Sowle Cahill, Professor of Theology, Boston College ; author of Theology and Bioethics: Participation, Justice, and Change

Sacramental Commons reminds people that Indigenous Peoples' struggles for sovereignty and human rights continue today. John Hart honors the life and teachings of Phillip Deere and David Sohappy, spiritual leaders and healers who promoted justice for Indigenous Peoples and respect for Mother Earth. In their spirit, all people should walk with the Creator and care for our sacred Mother Earth. Mitakuye Oyasin . We are all related.

– William Means, International Indian Treaty Council

John Hart is a leading theologian in the field of ecological ethics. Sacramental Commons is an indispensable contribution for deepening the Christian commitment to the flourishing of the Earth community. We are all in his debt.

– Mary Evelyn Tucker, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University

Sacramental Commons is itself a sacramental occasion. Through John Hart's religiously and morally sensitive reflections, we can discern the natural signs of the Spirit's creative love and, consequently, our responsibilities to sustain the integrity of Earth's sacred habitats and inhabitants. The keynote in Hart's moral vision is a central demand of the age: the integration of the social and ecological common good.

– James A. Nash, author of Loving Nature

Sacramental Commons is very unique. The importance of John Hart's contribution is that he recovers natural sacraments and joins them to social sacraments. Discussing a sacramental vision of the world as John Hart does helps to create a new spirituality, that is, a new experience of the Spirit acting within everything. At the same time, he offers a valuable contribution for a culture to appreciate the sacrality of creation and learn to respect it and care for it as it is in itself and as it is in communion with us.

– From the Foreword by Leonardo Boff, author of Ecology and Liberation

John Hart does amazing work. He has taken a leadership role in bringing Western religious traditions to support a more integral human-Earth presence to each other. In Sacramental Commons , John Hart provides a substantial contribution to the Great Work.

– From the Afterword by Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth and The Great Work


What Are They Saying About...Environmental Theology?

New York : Paulist Press, 2004

This important book will be welcomed by all wrestling with the church's response to our environmental crisis, both theoretical and practical. John Hart brings together a wide knowledge of the contemporary debate and a deep grasp of the resources of the Christian tradition, as he plots a responsible yet realistic trajectory for the church as it responds to these issues. Highly recommended.

– Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University

There is perhaps no one better prepared than John Hart to write this book on Catholic environmental theology. Hart has already made major contributions to this field over a period of some three decades. Here he brings to bear his broad knowledge to draw the reader into a superb overview of key ideas and thinkers. Hart skillfully spans theology and practice to create engaging reading and food for further thought.

– Mary Evelyn Tucker, Bucknell University

John Hart, one of the most important scholars working in the area of ecological ethics, has written a marvelous overview of the current state of this field. Hart's treatment is, as usual, well organized, lucid, and engaging. He manages to condense an enormous amount of literature into a clear summary without significant loss of content. This book will be regarded as the best place to begin one's study of this increasingly important field within Christian ethics. Hart is a master of his discipline. This book displays the wisdom and balance that is so characteristic of his work in general. This is a “must read” for everyone in Christian ethics who is not an expert on ecology.

– Stephen J. Pope, Professor of Theology, Boston College

This is an informative, inclusive, and insightful overview of recent environmental theology. An excellent and timely contribution to the WATSA series.

– Christine Firer Hinze, Marquette University

John Hart's Environmental Theology provides an illuminating overview of the way the Vatican and Roman Catholic bishops and theologians in the Americas have been developing their response to the mounting environmental challenges facing humanity. Reflecting on this material and on the insights of American Indians and contemporary science, Hart outlines the major transformations in traditional Christian thought needed to construct a sound environmental theology and ethics. His account is especially instructive because he spells out the practical implications of an ethic of caring for creation and recognizes the interconnections between ecology and social justice. This is a clearly written book that lay people as well as church leaders and professional theologians will find a valuable guide.

– Steven C. Rockefeller, Professor of Religion Emeritus, Middlebury College

John Hart has accomplished several goals, all in highly accessible fashion. He surveys and analyzes Roman Catholic environmental writings (official church documents and the work of theologians). From this literature, he organizes the materials thematically around salient, pressing issues. And he offers direction for needed theological work and for community and congregation action. The result is a crisp volume helpful to scholar and parishioner alike. I will definitely use this book in my courses.

– Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary

John Hart has outlined here a veritable map of the treasury for anybody interested in knowing or, better yet, in nurturing what the Roman Catholic tradition brings to an environmentalist commitment in our larger continent. John Hart gives us here the first global account of Catholic environmentalism throughout the Americas – and a primer for 21st century eco-catholicism!

– Otto Maduro, Ph.D., The Theological School, Drew University

John Hart, a veteran environmental ethicist and activist, has provided very helpful introduction to and overview of the dynamic discussion in Catholic teachings and theology regarding the environment. Unusual, and of particular significance, is Hart's respectful attention to and engagement with some of the wisdom on these matters provided by various traditional and Christian Indian elders of the Americas .

– Terence R. Anderson, Professor Emeritus, Christian Social Ethics, Vancouver School of Theology, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ethics and Technology: Innovation and Transformation in Community Contexts

Cleveland , Ohio : Pilgrim Press, 1997

John Hart, one of a new group of ethicists to whom we all have to listen, argues persuasively that we need to do our homework, not only in how technology works in the modern world, but in how ethics ‘works' as well....

- Robert McAfee Brown, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Pacific School of Religion , California

Ethics and Technology blends theoretical exploration of ethical issues with real-life situations and decision making...I highly recommend it.

- Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Ph.D., Professor of Scripture, Harvard Divinity School

Religion, the seedbed of morality, holds the keys for the expansion of ethics to include nature. John Hart is a pioneer in environmental theology, and his new book promises to open the ethical doors leading to a full sense of community on Planet Earth.

- Roderick Frazier Nash, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of California , Santa Barbara

Ethics and Technology addresses some of the most urgent issues facing American business in light of the importance of the common good.

- David Hollenbach, S.J., Ph.D., Boston College

Ethics and Technology will be a welcome addition to the literature on ethical issues in technology. Of particular importance is the attention given to both individual and social responsibility.

- Thomas A. Shannon, Ph.D., Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts

A thorough study...a most valuable source for all who are concerned with the problems of modern technology.

- Peter Hodgson, Ph.D., Head, Nuclear Physics Group, Oxford University , England

Ethics and Technology is a lucid and valuable discussion of one of the most important and vexing subjects on the human agenda. Highly recommended.

- David Orr, Ph.D., author; Professor, Environmental Studies, Oberlin College , Ohio

This will be a helpful resource for people in societies around the world who are struggling with the conflicts and possibilities of technological systems at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

- Rosemary Radford Ruether, Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Illinois

John Hart guides the reader to an understanding that religious and ethical traditions are not counter to scientific progress, but rather can (and must) be intelligently used.

- Ron Kroese, Executive Director, National Center for Appropriate Technology

John Hart offers an impressive balance between realism and discussing affirming that we do have opportunities to redirect technology towards the fulfillment of human life and the preservation of our environment.

- Ian G. Barbour, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Carleton College , Northfield , Minnesota

John Hart's book is an educational tool for those who wish to preserve the integrity of creation. Readers will learn about a badly needed ethics of transformation.

- Dorothee Sölle, Ph.D., Theology Professor, Hamburg , Germany


The Spirit of the Earth: A Theology of the Land

New York : Paulist Press, 1984

John Hart's The Spirit of the Earth provides a theological perspective from which to assess what we are doing to our earth and how we could begin to respond creatively in the face of the present policies which, if unchecked, will lead to the destruction of both the earth and ourselves. This should become a basic work in its field.

– Robert McAfee Brown, Pacific School of Religion

In The Spirit of the Earth , John Hart demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the practical and moral problems that must be faced by every American who truly loves the land.

– George McGovern , U.S. Senator, South Dakota

John Hart carefully delineates several strands of belief and understanding in American Indian and Judaeo-Christian tradition that point toward caring and responsible attitudes and policies with respect to the land.

– Richard H. Hiers, University of Florida