My new book, Time to Act: A Resource book from the Christians in Extinction Rebellion is published today. I’m the editor on this one, for Christian Climate Action. The book draws together a broad range of activists and thinkers to reflect on Christian traditions of direct action, and its relevance to the climate crisis. There are essays, interviews, poetry and lots of personal stories gathered from the streets of Extinction Rebellion (XR).
Like XR’s handbook, it’s a book to dip in and out of, its 38 short chapters and dozens of contributors providing a range of perspectives on how the church should respond to the climate emergency.
Who’s in it?
You’ll find contributions from Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Ugandan youth activist Vanessa Nakate, veteran XR activist Phil Kingston, theologian and activist Ruth Valerio, and many more. There are ethicists, environmentalists, a Rabbi, a bishop or two, and lots of members of Christian Climate Action. The youngest contributor is 6, the oldest is 87.
What’s it about?
Christian Climate Action is the Christian sub-group of Extinction Rebellion, and this book is by and for them, with dozens of members and activists appearing. It’s about our current moment and what it demands of us. It’s about how Christians have used direct action in the past, including the civil rights movement. There are chapters on grief and burnout. Some of the best bits are the personal stories of activism, as people write about what has motivated them to step up and risk arrest for the first time.
Is this a Christian book?
Yes. I don’t usually write specifically for Christian audiences, but this was a book that needed to be written and I was in the right place to make it happen. Direct action is a live question in the church at the moment – can Christians break the law? (Spoiler alert: yes) Should we support Extinction Rebellion, or keep our distance from such radical elements? I thought there was an opportunity to let Christian activists speak for themselves, as a challenge to the rest of the church.
What are people saying about it?
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, says it’s a “timely, moving and highly motivating book”. Activist and author Shane Claiborne calls it “a landmark book in the movement of Christians who care deeply about the earth.” I say I’m rather proud of it, have worked very hard on it, and it would be at the top of my reading list if I hadn’t already read it ten times.
Where can you get it?
Time to Act is published by SPCK, and you can get it on paper or as an ebook for £7.99 right now.