Exploring Ecotheology

(Landscape and Life Group)

Landscape and Life is made up of Christy Sweaney, Davia Campbell, Phil Lentz, Kevin Klevjer (whose name autocorrect insists is really Clever), and Emily Johnson. We each had varying reasons for choosing to study ecotheology. Below is a small sampling of a few of those reasons.

Phil Lentz: My name is Phil. I joined the eco group because it seems to be the most different from the Church father’s group that I had last semester. I also think that ecotheology is often taken too far or fought for too ideologically, which leaves room for debate on its efficacy.

Christy Sweaney: As a non-Christian student at TSS I am always looking for ways to connect Christian Theology to my own spiritual experience of the world. Throughout my life I have always found a great sense of peace, connection, and meaning in the wilderness. If my spiritual views were a religion, nature would be my church. Thus, I am intrigued by the idea of Ecotheology and am curious to see how these beliefs will compliment, contradict, and, hopefully, deepen my own relationship with the natural world.

Kevin Klevjer: My name is Kevin Klevjer. I am husband to Michelle, daddy to Sam and Leo, and I enjoy deep conversations about life and living with friends, family, and strangers. I find meaning for life in my core values of beauty, compassion, and encounter. I believe the most beautiful life we can live is a life of compassion — encountering others, ourselves, nature, and all life from a posture of curiosity and hospitality. I grew up with a conservative, evangelical background, yet in recent years have turned to a more mystical form of agnosticism. I believe there is great mystery in this life and I actively avoid certainty, yet I also believe in the interconnectedness of all things and the potential for beauty, creativity, and light to bring about the flourishing of all life — animate and inanimate.

Thus, I was drawn to study Ecotheology as a way to continue reflecting on what it looks like to bring about the thriving of all existence, as well as what the spiritual undertones of that endeavor might be.

Davia Campbell: My name is Davia Monet Campbell. I live in Seattle with my Fiance Richard and our Cat Teddy Mercury. I chose the eco theology group because I think that if we anthropocentrize God instead of God in actuality being a “person”, this has pretty gnarly implications for where one begins their theology. I think it necessitates building theology not centered onto the drama of humans and God (at least not always), but the universe and God. Anyways, at this point I’m compelled to kinda start from a different starting point in my theological work being the rest of the planet (and spaaaaaaace) instead of only people (though obviously the implications return to humanity). Yay!

Emily Johnson: I am Emily Johnson. I loved Ecotheology so much last term that I decided to stick with it for this term. I love where my body ends up in the larger conversation. There seems to be a lot of room for people to be human, vulnerable, muddy…yet still loved and lovely. I grew up Reformed, and enjoy theology in general, so a lot of the other groups were somewhat familiar to me. Ecotheology was appealingly fresh to my ears, and I keep finding more things to love about it the further I dig.