The Hope of Nature

Our Care for God’s Creation

In the face of possible environmental catastrophe, George B. Handley believes the restored gospel of Jesus Christ offers hope—not by promising believers an escape from the responsibilities of our stewardship over God’s creation, but by urging us to confront the global reality of our situation with faith, diligence, and courage. This collection of nine essays brings together over seventeen years of scholarship and writing by the leading voice on the relationship between the Latter-day Saint faith and the environment.

"Handley works throughout this book to draw out the value in the difference between secular environmentalists and conservation-curious religious folks. He endeavors to help these communities find the need for one another and see their common goals. May we all learn to listen, imagine, and articulate others’ perception of the world."

"Handley advocates for sustainable change motivated through a faithful understanding of what this earth is and the eternal purposes for which it was created."

Robert Wheadon

LDS Apologist Now


George Handley is one of the most perceptive scholars of ecology and the Latter-day Saint tradition. These essays bring to life his insights in ways that are accessible and engaging. Beautifully written and punctuated with personal stories, they will endure for many years. We are all in his debt.

Mary Evelyn Tucker

Over the last two decades, George Handley has emerged as the leading figure of Latter-day Saint ecotheology...His insights are a welcome invitation to those across the political and faith spectrums to become more anxiously engaged in honoring the earth and all of God’s creations.

Paul Formisano

As a scientist who has observed and contributed to recent efforts to bridge the seemingly distant worlds of religion and the environment, I see this book as a significant integration of ideas, references, and insights on the intersection of many ways of knowing and preserving nature.

Nalini M. Nadkarni

As a spiritual defense of biological conservation, Hope of Nature will bring comfort and inspiration to a new generation of Latter-day Saints who long to change the trajectory of environmental degradation that afflicts our age.

Paul Alan Cox

This beautiful book will change the way you think about the world and your role in it. It engages the head and the heart. It is a love letter about the Creation and a prayer of gratitude to the Creator.

Brigham Daniels

An important read for any Latter-day Saint who sincerely desires to better understand how stewardship in a growing environmental crisis informs what it means to be a Latter-day Saint.

Matthew Gowans

About the Author

George B. Handley

George Handley teaches interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University, where he also serves as the associate director of the Faculty Center. He received his BA from Stanford University and his MA and PhD in comparative literature at UC Berkeley. His scholarly publications and creative writing focus on the intersection between religion, literature, and the environment. His books include the memoir Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River, the novel American Fork, and two collections of essays in the Living Faith series entitled If Truth Were a Child and The Hope of Nature.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction

    The Environmental Ethics of Latter-day Saint Belief
  • The Desert Blossoms as a Rose: Toward a Western Conservation Aesthetic
  • The Economy of the Creation

    Letter to a Student
  • Climate Change and the Poor: Implications for Latter-day Saints
  • Faith and the Ethics of Climate Change

    The Restoration of All Things: The Case of the Provo River
  • Wilderness, Community, and Ecological Restoration
  • The Blessings and Paradoxes of Environmental Engagement
  • Coda: The Shape of Hope
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Publication Information

  • Publication Month: March
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-62972-726-4
  • Page Count: 315
  • Price: $ 16.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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