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Benjamin Stewart explores worship and ecology in A Watered Garden

Posted Jul 19, 2011

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Stewart, Gordon A. Braatz Assistant Professor of Worship and Dean of the Chapel at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago has published the book A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2011. ISBN 978-0-80665-393-8, $9.99). Stewart explores diverse ways in which Christian worship shapes ecological consciousness, especially in an age of ecological emergency. Stewart interweaves practices of worship with natural cycles, the human body, and the wider world, providing new perspectives on the relationship between God, humanity, and the earth. “With elegance and delightful clarity,” writes Prof. Samuel Torvend of Pacific Lutheran University, “ancient images gently collide with contemporary science, medieval mystics converse with cosmic symbols, the rituals of earthbound death illuminate Christian baptism.” A chapter from A Watered Garden was featured as the cover story of The Christian Century for January 28, 2011. Learn more or order at

About Benjamin Stewart

Benjamin M. Stewart joined LSTC’s faculty in 2009. He is especially interested in how the embodied act of worship shapes theology and the Christian life. His dissertation examined baptismal practices at the Easter Vigil for their potential contribution to eco-theology.

Stewart has published articles in Worship, Liturgy, and Liturgical Ministry. He is a co-author of Worship Guidebook for Lent and The Three Days.  Stewart is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and contributes to its Liturgy and Ecology Seminar.

Stewart has served as pastor to a small, Appalachian community in Ohio, and as village pastor to Holden Village, a retreat center in the Glacier Peak Wilderness of Washington. He is part of Living Liturgy, a team of five worship leaders who lead events across the country on revitalizing congregational worship.


Michael Shelley
Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jan Boden
Director of Communications

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, forms visionary leaders who bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. It provides high-quality seminary and graduate education for women and men in a community that is global, multicultural, ecumenical, interfaith, and urban. LSTC faculty provides resources for the whole church through their research, writing, and workshops and presentations around the world. Graduates serve in every type of ministry setting as they work to realize the gospel vision of peace and justice.

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