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In 2017, the United Nations’ World Water Day fell during Lent; in response, several churches organized the international Just Water program to raise awareness of water justice and the theological and spiritual importance of water; this thematic issue of the Anglican Theological Review gathers reflections, sermons, and art from Just Water and other water-themed articles. A series of sermons from Winston Halapua, Lorraine Kingsley, John Rodwell, and James Jones meditate on water’s theological significance. In the Articles section, Scott Bader-Saye explores fresh water scarcity from the perspective of stewardship. Edmund Newell relates the sea to the numinous and mystical, and Ched Myers discusses “watershed discipleship.” Two articles examine the theological implications of sea level rise: Mick Pope shows how flood and chaos relate to biblical themes of sin and judgment, and Jame Schaefer gathers voices from around the church that speak to the dangers small island nations face.
The Just Water conference featured several firsthand accounts of working with water issues that are included in the Practicing Theology section. Thabo Makgoba discusses South African water inequality issues. Heather Patacca describes how she worked to bring water-relevant programming to St. Paul’s Melbourne. Catherine Flowers writes a devastating account of sewage and disease resulting from the lack of water treatment in rural Alabama. Sam Brannon, Brandon Mauai, and Nakiya Wakes provide short accounts of struggles from the front lines for water justice: poverty and scarcity on the Rio Grande; the fight against the pipeline in North Dakota; and the catastrophic water situation in Flint, Michigan. Finally, Pablo Genovés’s and Imtiaz Dharker’s art and poetry, featured at the conference at St. Paul’s London, is joined by photograpy from LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Flint Is Family series.
As always, the ATR includes poetry and book reviews of the latest noteworthy books in the fields of theology and ethics, pastoral theology, historical theology, biblical studies, religion and culture, interreligious studies, poetry, and liturgics.
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