Joseph Sittler

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Joseph Sittler (1904–1987) was an American Lutheran theologian who taught at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is widely credited with pioneering the links between Christian theology and ecological thought, having written about environmental matters as early as the 1950s (long before they were widely reported in the mainstream press). He continually insisted that care for the earth and its environment is a central concern of the Christian religion.[1]

He was also interested in the topics of aging, grace, religion and science, narrative in preaching, and biblical interpretation.

He was the uncle of German actor Walter Sittler.

He was survived by six children, Stephen, Joseph Jr, Barbara, Bay, Hans, and Philip.[1]

Published works[edit]

Sittler was a prolific preaching theologian. His books are, in many cases, derived from his speaking engagements.

  • The Doctrine of the Word in the Structure of Lutheran Theology (1948), publication of the Knubel-Miller Foundation lectures, ULCA
  • The Structure of Christian Ethics (1958), publication of the Rockwell Lectures on Religious Subjects, Rice Institute, Houston, TX (Reissued in the "Library of Christian Ethics" series by WJK Press, 1998)
  • The Ecology of Faith (1961), publication of the Lyman Beecher lectures, Yale, 1959
  • The Care of the Earth and Other University Sermons (1964) (Reissued by Fortress Press as The Care of the Earth in 2004)
  • The Anguish of Preaching (1966), publication of the Dr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Zimmerman Lectureship at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
  • Essays on Nature and Grace (1972)
  • Gravity and Grace: Reflections and Provocations (1986) (Expanded and reissued by Fortress Press, 2005)
  • Running With the Hounds: Conversation with Campus Ministry, June, 1977 (2000) (republication of material found in the CSCM Yearbook 1977-78, Center for the Study of Campus Ministry, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN)
  • Evocations of Grace: The Writings of Joseph Sittler on Ecology, Theology, and Ethics (2000)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Cf. the article "A Theology for Earth" in Evocations of Grace: Writings on Ecology, Theology, and Ethics, ed. Peter Bakken and Steven Bouma-Prediger (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000).