“… and supporting identity-shaping practices and perspectives in relationship to God’s creation as well as to God, other persons, and communities? ”
This Collaborative Inquiry Team will investigate how a dozen Christian communities in North America are cultivating “grounded faith” in their respective contexts. Faith that is grounded is in a literal sense deeply attentive to the very earth beneath our feet. It recalls the creation story in which humans are created from the soil, and are thus inextricably bound to it. It is also grounded in the sense that it is deeply attentive to the contexts and practices that shape everyday life. This project in practical theology is built on the theological and ecclesial conviction that the cultivation of grounded and ecologically-attuned Christian practices is essential to the flourishing of the church in North America. This kind of ecological faith is situated in relationship not only to God and other persons and communities, but also to God’s creation. Indeed, the very heart of Christian faith is deepened by renewed commitments and capacities among those who long to live faithfully in our ecological context. The research grant will support members of the team as they excavate and interpret educational practices that seek to cultivate ecological religious identity among people of faith both within congregations and in their engagement with religious environmental organizations.