ETF Leuven Appoints Environmental Ethicist Michael Northcott

18 December 2019

ETF Leuven Appoints Environmental Ethicist Michael Northcott

Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF) in Leuven has appointed Prof. Dr. Michael Northcott as half-time guest professor as of 1 December 2019. The academic work of Northcott focuses on the question of how Christian faith can contribute to current environmental ethics.

Prof. Dr. Northcott (1955) obtained his doctorate in 1983; from 1989 to 2017 he worked at the University of Edinburgh, from 2007 as professor of ethics. His many publications include the leading books The Environment and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 1996), A Political Theology of Climate Change (SPCK, 2014) and Place, Ecology and the Sacred: The Moral Geography of Sustainable Communities (Bloomsbury, 2015). He is a much sought-after speaker at academic conferences and has supervised numerous doctorates.

Since leaving the University of Edinburgh, in 2018 he worked as a guest professor at the University of Heidelberg; since then, he has worked as professor of Religion and Ecology at the Indonesian Consortium of Religious Studies, affiliated with the Universitas Gadjah Mada Graduate School in Yogyakarta (Indonesia). He will continue his affiliation with this institution for fifty percent, in addition to his appointment at ETF Leuven. Michael Northcott is also an ordained priest in the Anglican Church.

Prof. Dr. Jos de Kock, rector ETF Leuven: “The strength of ETF is that it always tries to put its classical theological education in service of current social challenges, locally and globally. Dealing with various environmental issues, caring for the earth and a sustainable organization of society are extremely urgent challenges, also for theology. The appointment of Prof. Northcott fits in with our mission to train students in this theological reflection and at the same time to contribute socially to reflection on these challenges.”

Prof. Dr. Andreas Beck, Dean ETF Leuven: “Prof. Northcott, as one of the world’s best-known Christian environmental ethicists, brings with him a unique expertise. He also has a very extensive academic network and is an excellent communicator who can make his voice heard in the current debate on sustainability. His work will complement the research of his Leuven colleagues Prof. Dr. Patrick Nullens and Dr. Steven C. van den Heuvel, both of whom have doctorates related to environmental ethics. We look forward to Northcott’s contribution in further developing this expertise in the Department of Systematic Theology at ETF.”

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