Skip to content »

sustainGETS Lecture with Douglas Kaufman

"Caring about Climate: Pastoral Response to Denial and Despair"

sustainGETS will be welcome Douglas Kaufman, for a sustainGETS lecture on February 20, 2020, at 11:10 a.m. in Room 205.

In order to manage the complex emotions surrounding climate change, many people employ what the sociologist Kari Norgaard calls the “social organization of denial,” whereby they deny the implications rather than the facts. Along with other pastoral theologians such as Panu Pihkala, I offer a pastoral and theological response to confront this denial, engage the grief of climate loss, and move toward a tragic hope. My proposal brings together the cross and resurrection with the solidarity of Christ’s body, as explicated in the “gospel of all creatures,” an early Anabaptist teaching with roots in medieval mysticism. Pastoral care and teaching need to focus publicly on engaging grief and suffering along with creating communal conversations about climate.

About Douglas Kaufman

Douglas KaufmanDouglas Kaufman is director of pastoral ecology at the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, a partnership of the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, Eastern Mennonite University, Mennonite Central Committee, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Everence. He has served as co-pastor of Benton Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN for almost 20 years. His interest in theology and ecology began when his congregation realized that the local river where they baptize is at times contaminated with too much manure. He also served as Conference Pastor for Leadership Transitions for Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. He is completing a Th.M. in ecology at the University of Toronto.

About sustainGETS

sustinGETS is Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's sustainability group. You can learn more about sustainGETS and their work at

February 20, 2020

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston , IL 60201