Word-Care and Care of the World: Mary Oliver and the Aesthetics of Environmentalism

Dr. Debra Dean Murphy

February 2019 – Faith and Leadership, Debra Dean Murphy: Mary Oliver and other poets can help us perceive-and protect-the natural world

Lent 2018 – The Cresset, Our Sentimental Poet? Mary Oliver in an Age of Excess

April 2017 – Christian Century, Why We Need Mary Oliver’s Poems


Scholar’s Retreat

Dr. Debra Dean Murphy was a scholar’s retreat participant in the fall of 2016. She examines several of Oliver’s poems and wide-ranging essays to help make the case for aesthetics in the cause of creation care. Murphy argues that Oliver’s work at the intersection of theology and poetry creates fertile ground for confronting the crises of ecological degradation and matters of culpability, accountability, and the flourishing of all of creation.