Presented here for the first time and for meditation and emulation are the words and work of many environmental apostles. The words and work of each apostle are designed to delight and inspire the reader to begin or continue to lead a life of environmental action for conservation and contemplation of nature for spiritual succor in the age of climate change. All the usual suspects are here, such as St. Francis, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, and Judith Wright, but New Lives of the Saints emphasizes some aspects of their words and work often ignored or overlooked, such as Thoreau on swamps and Leopold on marshes. Also included are some unusual and unexpected environmental apostles, such as Walter Benjamin, Raymond Williams, Seamus Heaney, and Paul Virilio, all of whom contributed to green thinking as this book shows. Other environmentally apostolic writers, such as Walt Whitman, Sidney Lanier, Lord Dunsany, H. P. Lovecraft, Felix Guattari and Kelly Barnhill, are also discussed.
Beginning with two environmentally and animal friendly retellings of the legends of St. George and St. Margaret involving dragons, the book goes on to devote a chapter each to ten other environmental apostles as patron saints of a special type of environment or of an approach to environmental conservation and contemplation. These saints sing the song of the earth, including its swamps, marshes, bogs, fens, national parks, mountains, forests, oceans, seas, airs, rivers, reefs, trees, cities, peoples, places, plants, animals, and so on. They provide nurture for living a life of hope and symbiotic livelihood living sacrally with the earth. New Lives of the Saints crosses the great divide between fiction and non-fiction and mixes the genres of story and essay. It is a ground-breaking work of environmental counter-theology for the symbiocene, the hoped-for age superseding the Anthropocene.