Take a look out your window—something remarkable is happening in the world outside. Air pollution and fossil fuel consumption are down. Animals are re-emerging in spaces normally dominated by people. Creation is experiencing a remarkable sabbath rest.
But this rest comes only because of a pandemic that is causing widespread human suffering, both physical and economic. How should Christians reflect on this situation? What lessons can we learn? And, after the pandemic, how should Christians live differently so that both humans and the nonhuman world can flourish?
In this course, you'll dive deep into the biblical concept of "sabbath rest." You'll explore the ways that our lifestyle choices affect the world around us. You'll wrestle with tough questions about the environmental costs of our activities. And with the knowledge you gain, you'll be ready to help your community make wise, sustainable choices.
There is no set meeting time for this course. You will have opportunities for live collaboration with the professor and other students. If you choose to audit the course, plan to spend 10-14 hours over the course of three weeks reading, writing, watching videos, and having discussions. You won't be graded. If you are taking the course for academic credit, expect an additional 20 hours of course work. Credit-seekers are awarded a credit on a completed/not-completed basis without a letter grade.
James Skillen is a professor in the department of geology, geography & environmental studies at Calvin. His research covers topics like federal land policy and ecosystem management. He worked for several seasons with the U.S. Forest Service before earning a master’s in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a PhD in natural resource policy from Cornell University.