When Time Is Short
Finding Our Way in the Anthropocene
With faith, hope, and compassion, acclaimed religion scholar Timothy Beal shows us how to navigate the inevitabilities of the climate crisis and the very real—and very near—possibility of human extinction What if it’s too late to save ourselves from climate crisis? When Time is Short is a meditation for what may be a finite human future that asks how we got here to help us imagine a different relationship to the natural world. Modern capitalism, as it emerged, drew heavily upon the Christian belief in human exceptionalism and dominion over the planet, and these ideas still undergird our largely secular society. They justified the pillaging and eradication of indigenous communities and plundering the Earth’s resources in pursuit of capital and lands. But these aren’t the only models available to us—and they aren’t even the only models to be found in biblical tradition. Beal re-reads key texts to anchor us in other ways of being—in humbler conceptions of humans as earth creatures, bound in ecological interdependence with the world, subjected to its larger reality. Acknowledging that any real hope must first face and grieve the realities of climate crisis, Beal makes space for us to imagine new possibilities and rediscover ancient ones. What matters most when time becomes short, he reminds us, is always what matters most.