Welcome. For more than 40 years I have been addressing ecological issues from a Christian theological perspective. In my retirement, I still feel called to be an ecological theologian. On this website I provide information about myself, my background, my writings, and themes that continue to be of interest to me. If you think I might be of any assistance to you in your setting, do not hesitate to contact me.
The culminating book of H. Paul Santmire’s scholarly and pastoral career, Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality has just been published. Informed throughout by the classical Christian tradition, this study brings his life’s work in ecological theology to a personal, spiritual conclusion. Before Nature has already been celebrated by a variety of theologians and practitioners. It is addressed to two audiences, to the large and growing number of spiritual seekers in our day, on the one hand, and to those theologians and practitioners who are in conversation with those seekers, on the other hand.
A frequent speaker at church assemblies and in college, university, and seminary settings, Dr. Santmire has been a leader in the field of ecological theology since he published his first, groundbreaking book, Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (1970).
Dr. Santmire’s historical study of Christian theologies of nature, The Travail of Nature: the Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (1985), was praised by critics and leaders in the field such as Lynn White, Jr. and John B. Cobb, Jr. He outlined his own theology of nature in Nature Reborn: the Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology (2000).
His next book, Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis (2008), celebrated by the eminent liturgical scholar, Gordon Lathrop, and by the internationally known ethicist, Larry Rasmussen, explores the ecological meanings of Christian worship practices.
A Harvard-educated teacher and practitioner, Dr. Santmire has served as Chaplain and Lecturer in Religion and Biblical Studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, as the Pastor of an inner-city congregation in Hartford, Connecticut, and as the Senior Pastor of a historic metropolitan church in downtown Akron, Ohio. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he is now retired, and lives and writes in the Boston area.