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Blessed Are the Consumers: Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint

Sallie McFague (Author)
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In this timely book, Sallie McFague recalls her readers to the practices of restraint. In a world bent on consumption it is imperative that people of religious faith realize the significant role they play in advocating for the earth, and a more humane life for all.

The root of restraint, she argues, rests in the ancient Christian notion of Kenosis, or self-emptying.

By introducing Kenosis through the life stories of John Woolman, Simone Weil, and Dorothy Day, McFague brings a powerful theological concept to bear in a winsome and readable way.

For decades, Sallie McFague has lent her voice and her theological imagination to addressing and advocating for the most important issues of our time. In doing so, she has influenced an entire generation, and empowered countless people in their efforts to put religion in the service of meeting human needs in difficult times.

Release date: 
March 1, 2013


"The political parties in the United States continue to ignore the twin, globally decisive, questions of income distribution and ecological catastrophe. These questions are central to this book. Most Christian responses to these apocalyptic challenges talk about what other people, governments, or corporations should be doing. This book addresses us as Christians and invites us to live as Christians. If thousands of readers take this challenge seriously, we may yet be effective workers with God in the salvation of the world."
—John B. Cobb Jr.
The Center for Process Studies
Claremont, California

"Sallie McFague's Blessed Are the Consumers is a direct challenge to consumerist society and shows how we are all implicated. McFague brings a much needed and well developed ethic of restraint to the field of ecotheology. She calls us to move from belief to action, from denial to profound change at both personal and public levels. McFague clarifies the problems and promises of Christianity as a model that sees self and planetary flourishing as interdependent. McFague draws from a lifetime love affair with saints, a theology acumen few have acquired, and a steadfast commitment to confronting the economic roots of the planetary crisis. This is the religious call of today—we need to change—profoundly and urgently."
Heather Eaton
Satin Paul University, Ottawa

"What is more important than the question this book asks: how, in a time of climate change, shall we live well? With her blend of stirring clarity as to the stakes and narrative radiance attracting us to face them, McFague has delivered the work of a lifetime."
Catherine Keller
Drew University


Review in The Cresset

Review on Political Matters Journal

Review in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

Review in Reviews in Religion and Theology

Review in Anglican Theological Review

Review in Touchstone

Review in Religious Studies Review

Review in The Catalyst via Citizens for Public Justice