Like There’s No Tomorrow – Review
Like There’s No Tomorrow, by Frances Ward, March 2020. Sacristy Press, ISBN: 978-1789590883, 254 pages. RRP: £12.99 (paperback)
Like There’s No Tomorrow will be a heartening read for anyone who cares even slightly about the major moral and ethical conundrums of our day, seen here through a theologian’s lens. It casts a Godly eye upon the Climate Change crisis, so often seen as the sole province of scientists. How refreshing to find the whole area firmly situated in terms of what it is and always will be: a moral and philosophical challenge.
The poetry of our natural heritage is evoked, but the author avoids straying into chocolate box territory, idealising a bucolic idyll (which would be grand were it not for the associated typhoid, rickets and polio), and the romanticism is admirably held in check by a simple down-to-earth conviction of faith. It is chatty without being preachy, as well as containing an admirable index and notes for the more scholarly amongst us. This kind of endeavour has for far too long been held back by its adherents lacking the courage to lay claim to the imagining of heaven on earth, rather than to the sackcloth and ashes in which its detractors have been able to shroud it (in spite of the empiricist legacy from which it was birthed). This is a welcome addition to any library, representing less anxiety and more celebration of creation, creativity and the wilder recesses of all our minds.
Custodianship of the natural world and ecology are not diametrically opposed to science, progress and a better world. Indeed many of the early pioneers of the innovations that have enabled us to have such a romantic view of planet Earth (improvements in health facilitated by vaccination, for example) would be quite bemused by the current discourse, and the worrying ease with which the forces of reaction have been able to sweep this progressive tradition aside. Frances Ward tackles her subject with a confidence, brevity and wit sorely needed in an epoch which will be defined by its adherence to polarisation, opposition and strife. This book is a beacon of hope in a field which has found itself to some extent a victim of its success; awareness and its close cousin “worry” will never be a substitute for the adherence to the progressive attitudes and values that this book, and indeed the Christian faith, demands.
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