Critically surveying various approaches to Christian ecological ethics alongside the vexing moral ambiguities of the Anthropocene, Ecology of Vocation offers an integrative approach to responsible living vis à vis one of Protestantism's key theological resources- the doctrine of vocation. Drawing on H. Richard Niebuhr's germinal ethical framework with a decidedly ecofeminist perspective, Kiara A. Jorgenson demonstrates how vocation's emphasis on right relationship practically speaks to the embodied realities of planetary interrelatedness. By excavating the ecological promise of the early Reformers' democratized renderings of calling and linking their concerns to the contemporary context, she argues that vocation cannot be reduced to the particular aim of monetized work, nor to an elitist escape from it. Rather, vocation must be recast as the dynamic and vibrant space among the myriad roles any of us inhabits at any given time in a particular place. When understood in this light, vocation signals much more than a job, a passion, or a quest for self-discovery. An alternative understanding of vocation's very ecology can extend Christian conceptions of the neighbor beyond the human and lead the church to more faithfully pursue lives characterized by humility, restraint, wisdom, justice, and love.
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About the Author
Kiara A. Jorgenson is assistant professor of religion and environmental studies and the director of the environmental conversations program at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.