Calvin DeWitt is director of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Michigan, professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a prolific author of articles for scientific and Christian publications on topics ranging from world food production to the ethics of environmental stewardship. In his effort to put scientific and ethical education into practice, he has organized successful campaigns to preserve forests in Michigan and led a Wisconsin town to develop a model stewardship plan for its wetlands, woodlands, and agricultural lands.
In his own modest words, DeWitt is "a student of the scriptures," inspired by his "gratitude to God" to "open up the university of creation to students so they can receive a lifelong education."
His contribution is to help develop a framework that brings Christians and others together around a biblical vision of the integrity of creation. "Environmental responsibility is at the heart of Christian faith and life," he insists. "There must be a conversion among Christiansmainline, evangelical, fundamentalistto acknowledge God anew as Creator, not only in word, but in deed. People of all faiths, and the whole of society, must do an about-face."
DeWitt was interviewed by Marjorie Hope and James Young, a husband and wife team who have published four books on social problems. When this article appeared, they were completing a book on the potential for an effective environmental ethic in several religions of the world.
CALVIN DEWITT joined us after lunch in the Au Sable dining room. He entered with a quick stride, puffed his apologies for being late, and shook hands with us warmly. Considering the rapid pace of his day, he seemed remarkably relaxed; his voice, gestures, and laugh conveyed a deep enjoyment of life.