Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"

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Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
Keeping and Healing the Creation

This is the general report format.
Shorter and more detailed report formats are also available for this title.

Short Description:   The first three chapters of this resource paper present a profile of the eco-justice crisis. After this presentation of the facts of eco-injustice, the paper offers a theology for keeping and healing, and then presents ethical norms for this mission.
Long Description:   The paper was prepared by a 14 member task force of the PCUSA plus 3 staff members and 6 consultants. Preparing it was was a "normal" PCUSA lead up to developing a church policy and they sought feedback from groups that used it as a study, prior to General Assembly´s passage of that policy, so groups using this would probably want to look at the later document as well as/instead of this one.

p. 2 "´Eco-Justice´ means the well-being of all humankind on a thriving earth."

p. 3 "Our own time of travail is the time of the ´eco-justice crosos´--the historic turning point at which the abuse of nature and the injustice to human beings place the future in grave jeopardy, both for natural systems and for human society."

Reviewed by:   Pat Townsend, a Presbyterian laywoman and college professor from New York

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Presbyterian Eco-Justice Task Force Principal author as identified in Preface was William E. Gibson
Publication date:   1989 Website for this resource:   none known
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address Environmental Justice Resources
National Council of the Churches of Christ
PO Box 968
Elkhart, IN   46515-0968  
Phone 800-762-0968   219-264-3102 Fax 219-262-0966  
Website E-mail    
Price $4.00  Order # EJ 9040 

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool    Primary    Jr. High    Sr. High     Adult
Optimum class size The reviewer did not comment - assume 10-20 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 8 class sessions each lasting about 1 hour?? doesn´
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? It suggests what discussion questions to omit and combine for a 4 week or 6 week series.  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? The reviewer did not describe any homework  
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content
Note: The reviewer says that this curriculum is especially appropriate for members of the denomination or agency that developed it (PCUSA). For example, it may explore a denominational policy statement. The reviewer also believes that it is possible for groups outside that tradition to make good use these materials.

Materials provided
Materials include:
 Leader's guide
 Student book
 Discussion questions
 Class activities - arts & crafts
 Class activities - group participation 
 Reading materials
 Presentation or lecture notes
 Prayer or worship resources

Other supportive materials provided: It is a single 108 page book with readings and discussion questions intended for both students and leaders.
Other materials required:none specified
Description of the Leader's Guide:discussion questions seem thoughtful
Description of the Student's Book:Since the amount of reading for each session (roughly 10 pages) is relatively brief and well written it might be possible for the leader to combine bits of reading aloud with periods of silent reading to cope with the fact that the class is unlikely to come prepared for discussion.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Helpful to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Medium. I don´t think most adult groups in our church at this time are prepared to read a chapter in advance and simply discuss it in response to questions. They expect a video or an expert presenter or something additional and do not attend regularly enough to take a reading assignment one week and come back having read it the next week. 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as a primary focus  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? most key issues are discussed in a few pages each, toxic wastes, solid waste, fisheries depletion, water, ozone depletion, global climate change  
How is the scope of the environmental impact positioned?  Impact on specific human communities
 Impact on humans in general
 Impact on humans and non-human parts of creation
 Impact on non-human parts of creation only  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? Yes - as part of the topic  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? Yes, as a major emphasis  
How are the Biblical materials used? Individual texts are presented as meaningful ('proof texts')
Several texts are developed to show a larger biblical theme
Texts are placed in a historical or cultural context
Texts are presented as authoritative
Students are invited to comment/reflect on the meaning or authority of texts
Biblical texts are of equal importance to other scriptures/readings  
The checked statements reflect how ethical guidelines are grounded The Bible tells us how we should live/act
A theological tradition or other authority tells us how we should live/act
We should make decisions about how to live/act based on defined ethical norms
Caring for creation is an assumed norm  
The curriculum views humanity's role in creation as:
The checked lines are clearly affirmed
Domination - God created the Earth for human use; there are no real restrictions on what we can or should do.
Stewardship - "The Earth is the Lord's"" and humans are in a position of managing the creation according to God's will.
Partner - Humans are part of the web of creation, and participate in it as one species among many.
Intruder - Humans are separate from nature, and inherently destructive.
In evaluating changes to "solve" environmental problems, does the curriculum tend toward an approach that is: Confessional - I/we need to change
Confrontational - Some other person, policy or institutions needs to change
Combination - a mix of confessional and confrontational

Content approach
Which of these are a primary target outcome of the curriculum?  Increase awareness or concern about the environment in general
 Increase awareness of concern about a specific environmental issue
 Acquiring factual knowledge about an issue
 Changing or deepening personal beliefs
 Change in self-awareness or self-identity
 Changes in personal behaviors or lifestyle choices
 Influence on institutional (church or other) practices
 Increased political advocacy
 No change, or goal not clear
Other:  The paper was preparation for formation of denominational policy which is the only way that the Washington office becomes involved in advocacy. So it had a very specific goal, yet gives solid theological and ethical grounding for it.
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented

Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   Home Page:
Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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