Dr. Hilda Koster’s new book, “Planetary Solidarity: Global Women’s Voices on Christian Doctrine and Climate Justice,” was celebrated with a book panel at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion, held in Boston at the end of November.
Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and Dr. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School of Harvard University, responded to the panel.
Koster’s book, which she co-edited with Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, is a collection of essays by leading women theologians from around the world and discusses the intersection of Christian doctrine, gender and climate. Koster says theological discussions on climate change often do not include the effects of climate change on (poor) women.
“In many countries in the global South, women are the ones who are responsible for the growing of food, for collecting water and firewood,” Koster said. “In times of drought, for instance, women must walk farther and spend more time collecting water. Girls may have to drop out of school to help their mothers with these tasks.”
“Planetary Solidarity” asks what we may learn about our current predicament when we listen to women’s struggle for survival amidst human-induced climate change and what this might mean for our faith and theology.
“As a theologian, I see it as my task to relate the Bible and the Christian tradition to the challenges of our time. Climate change is the most important challenge humanity faces today,” Koster said.
The respondents to the panel were complimentary of the collection of essays. In her comments, Schüssler Fiorenza called “Planetary Solidarity” “a milestone in Christian Systematic Theology,” and Gore hailed the book as a truly magnificent achievement.
Contributors to the book include Sallie McFague, Ivone Gebara, Heather Eaton, Wanda Deifelt, Fulata Lusungu Moyo, Isabel Mukonyora, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Melanie Harris, Meehyun Chung, Jea Sophia Oh, Nancy Pineda-Madrid, Joyce Ann Mercer and Barbara Rossing.