Encountering Earth

Thinking Theologically with a More-Than-Human World

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Trevor Bechtel, Matt Eaton, Tim Harvie
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Cascade Books
    , May
     276 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jacob Erickson forthcoming.


One day, Matthew Eaton was walking through an impromptu animal shelter display at his local pet store when suddenly an eight-month-old kitten dug his claws into Eaton’s flesh. Eaton recognized that the “eyes of this cat and the curve of his claw” compelled a response analogous to those found in the writings of Buber, Levinas, and Derrida. And not just Eaton but a whole community of theologians have found themselves in an encounter with particular places and animals that demands rich theological reflection. Eaton enlisted fellow editors Harvie and Bechtel to collect the essays in this volume, in which theologians listen to horses, rats, snakes, cats, dogs, and the earth itself, who become new theological voices demanding a response. In this volume, the voice of the more-than-human world is heard as making theology possible. These essays suggest that what we say theologically represents not simply ideas of our own making subsequently superimposed onto the natural world through our own discovery, but rather flow from an expressive Earth.

With additional contributions from:

Kimberly Carfore
Lisa E. Dahill
Celia Deane-Drummond
Heather Eaton
Nathan Kowalsky 
Abigail Lofte
Jame Schaefer
Cristina D. Vanin
Mark Wallace 
Grace Y. Kao
Chris Carter
John Berkman
Laura Hobgood

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Trevor George Hunsberger Bechtel is Associate Professor of Religion at Bluffton University. An ordained Mennonite theologian, he also serves as Creative Director of the Anabaptist Bestiary Project (anabaptistbestiaryproject.com).

Matthew Eaton is Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Fordham University in New York.

Timothy Harvie is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, Canada.



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