Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, a well-known Lutheran ethicist, holds a joint appointment at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and CDSP.
She has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and many parts of North America in theological ethics addressing matters of climate justice as related to race and class, economic globalization, moral agency and hope, public church, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, and ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation. Her ethical approach weds Earth ethics to liberation theolgies including eco-feminist theology. Dr. Moe-Lobeda was appointed theological consultant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has served as a health worker/church worker in Honduras and as Director of the Washington, D.C. office of Augsburg College's Center for Global Education. More recently she has intiated an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project in public scholarship that examines the moral and public policy implications of climate change as a moral matter of race- and class-based climate debt, including climate debt owed by the global North to the global South. Moe-Lobeda received the "Outstanding Scholarship Award" from Seattle University's College of Arts and Sciences in 2013.
Having lived for many years in Seattle, she loves hiking in the woods and mountains, and relishes their life-giving beauty. Recently called to Pacific Lutheran Theologial Seminary, she is eager to re-imagine, explore, and develop theological education for today's world.
Brief Professional History
Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies; School of Theology and Ministry; Environmental Studies Program. Seattle University, 2015.
Wismer Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies, Seattle University, 2011 - 2013.
Associate Proferssor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies; School of Theology and Ministry; Environmental Studies Program. Seattle University, 2009-2015.
Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies; School of Theology and Ministry; Environmental Studies Program. Seattle University, 2004-2008.
Visiting Professor, “Christian Ethics and Global Economics,” for Mexico Seminary Semester Program, The Lutheran Center, Mexico City. December, 2008.
Upcoming Public Lectures and Other Contributions to Academy and Church
Plenary paper, Discernment and Radical Engagement Global Forum, Council for World Mission, Bangkok, May – June, 2017.
Keynote speaker (four lectures), International Women's Theology Conference, Grace College of University of Queensland, Australia, June 26-29, 2017.
Ph.D. Christian Ethics. Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY.
Dissertation: “Journey Between Worlds: Economic Globalization, and Luther’s Indwelling God as Source of Subversive Moral Agency” (Advisor: Larry Rasmussen).
M.T.S. Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
M.S.W. School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
B.A. St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.
Dr. Moe-Lobeda's areas of scholarship and teaching include: the ethical dimensions of economic globalization, the climate crisis as related to race and class, environmental racism, moral agency and hope, the ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation, public/political theology, Earth ethics, eco-feminist theology, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, the role of Bible in ethics, theo-ethical method.
International Presentations and Consultations
“Climate Justice,” presentation for “Global Perspectives on the Reformation: Interactions between Theology, Politics and Economics,” a Lutheran World Federation conference in Namibia, Oct-Nov, 2015.
"Resurrection as Faithful Resistance: Hope for the Earth Community," plenary address at Korsvei Festival, Seljord, Norway, summer 2015.
“Re-Radicalizing Justification,” paper and chapter for “Radicalizing Reformation,” an international project honoring the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, involving conference in Halle Germany (2014) and book series to be published in German and English (2015).
North American theologian for Ecumenical Panel on a New Financial and Economic Architecture, convened by the World Council of Churches, World Communion of Reformed Churches, and Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, August, 2013 and January, 2014.
“The Ecological-Economic Debt of the Global North and Why ‘We’ Fail to See It,” a plenary paper at Redeeming the Marketplace: Theological Contributions to an Alternative Economics, an international conference sponsored by the John Knox Center, Geneva, May-June, 2013.
“Moral-Spiritual Agency toward Moral Economy,” a plenary paper at the same.
“Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation,” public lecture at Norwegian School of Theology MF, Oslo Norway, May 2013.
“Environmental Racism and the Environmental Justice Movement,” lecture delivered at consultation on Theological Education and Eco-Justice Ministries, Sponsored by the National Council of Churches of India (Creation, Justice, Peace Commission) and the Senate of Serampore College, Nagpur, India, November 2010.
“Eco- Justice as a Theological and Moral Issue,” lecture delivered at the same.
“Christian Ethics in the Face of Systemic Evil,” public lecture at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai, India, November 2010.
“Christian Response to Systemic Evil,” public lecture at United Theological College, Bangalore, India, November, 2010.
“Neighbor-Love as a Political-Ecological Vocation: Clues from Luther,” keynote address, Reformation Day Retreat, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai, India, November 2010.
“Globalization: An Eco-theological Perspective,” invited paper at symposium of “The Globalization Project,” a project of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, vested with the Beyers Naude Centre for Public Theology, Faculty of Theology, at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, February 2009.
Guest Professor, Economic Globalization and Ethics, Seminary Semester Program, Centro Luterano, Mexico City, December 2008.
“Sin, Salvation, and the Moral Life for the ‘Un-Creators,’” Climate Change and Global Ecological RiskSection of Ecological Theology and the Environmental Crisis, an international conference called by the Orthodox Academy of Crete, Greece, June 2008. (Paper accepted but not delivered)
“Liturgy and the Public Square.” Invited plenary address at bi-annual Congress of the international Council of Societas Liturgica (Palermo, Sicily), August 2007.
“Trinitarian Theology in the Context of Empire,” an international theological consultation and writing project, Lutheran World Federation, June, 2007.
“A Theological Ethical Framework,” Lutheran World Federation consultation on “The Vocation of Neighbor-Love in the Context of Globalization,” Germany, June, 2004.
Theological advisor to Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Assembly, Winnipeg, 2003.
International Writing Team, book for the Lutheran World Federation Assembly 2003 and strategic resource for LWF, Geneva.
Keynote Address. Ecumenical Advocacy Network Session, World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Jan., 2003. (Delivered in absentia due to visa complications.)
“Luther and the Indwelling God.” Paper for conference on “The Future of Lutheran Theology,” Arrhus, Denmark, Jan. 2003 (paper accepted but not delivered).
World Council of Churches consultation, “Ethical and Ecclesiological Bases for Response to Economic Globalization,” Geneva, December, 2002.
“God Flowing and Pouring into All Things: a Basis for Spiritual Resistance to Neo-Liberal Globalization,” presentation at a consultation convened by World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Council of Churches, and Lutheran World Federation, Geneva, December, 2002.
World Council of Churches Delegation, United Nations World Summit on Social Development Plus Five, Geneva, June, 2000, and at UN preparatory meetings, New York, 1999-2000.
Advisor and writer for Lutheran World Federation project: “Holding Globalization Accountable through the Communion,” Geneva, 2000-2001.
“Market Ideology.” A presentation at the 37th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, on behalf of the World Council of Churches, New York, 1999.
The Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation, with Bruce Birch, Jacqueline Lapsley, and Larry Rasmussen. Minneapolis: Fortress Press (forthcoming).
Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013.
Public Church: For the Life of the World. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004.
Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.
Say to This Mountain: Mark’s Story of Discipleship, with Marie Dennis, Ched Myers, Joe Nangle OFM, and Stuart Taylor. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996.
Saint Francis and the Foolishness of God, with Marie Dennis, Joe Nangle OFM, and Stuart Taylor. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1993 and 2015.
Chapters in Books (since 2000)
“Evil.” In Gerhard Wegner, ed., "Reformation today: Social ethical issues (tentative title). Liepzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2017. (A book project organized by the Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut [Social Sciences Institute of the Protestant Churches in Germany]).
“Love Incarnate: Hope and Power for Climate Justice,” invited chapter in Padgett, Alan and Kiara Jorgenson, eds., For the Love of the World: A Christian Conversation on Creation Care. Forthcoming, Eerdmans, 2017.
“Holy Spirit, Wild Hope.” In Hilda Koster and Grace J-Sun Kim, eds., Resistance and Resilience: Global Women’s Voices on Christian Doctrine and Climate Justice. Forthcoming, Palgrave, 2017.
“A Haunting Contradiction, Hope, and Moral-Spiritual Power.” In Lisa Dahill and James Martin-Schramm, eds. Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril. Wipf & Stock, 2016.
“The Subversive Luther.” In Carter Lindberg and Paul Wee, eds., The Forgotten Luther: Reclaiming the Social-Economic Dimension of the Reformation. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2016.
“Climate Colonialism, Climate Debt, Climate Justice: Garden Earth Envisioned and Embodied.” In John Hart, ed. Blackwell Companion to Religion and Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
“Hvordan motsta strukturell ondskap.” In Tone Strangeland Kaufman and Inge Westly, eds. De apne henders okonomi: Stemmer fra Korsveibevegelsen. Oslo: Stiftelsen Korsvei, 2015.
“Climate Debt, White Privilege and Christian Ethics as Political Theology. In Catherine Keller, Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, and Elias Ortega-Aponte, eds. Common Good(s): Economy, Ecology, Political Theology.” New York: Fordham Press, 2015.
“Re-Radicalizing Justification.” In Ulrich Duchrow and Carsten Jochum-Bortfeld, eds. Liberation toward Justice. Berlin, Münster,Wien, Zürich, London: LIT Verlag, 2015.
“Neighbor-love’s Moral Framework: From Markets That Concentrate Wealth to Markets That Serve Abundant Life for All.” In Diefelt, Wanda, ed. Markets and Margins. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2014.
“Climate Injustice and Lutheran Resources for Climate Justice.” In Bohmbach, Carla, and Shauna Hannan, eds. Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2013.
“Development, Religion, and Ecology.” Invited chapter in Matthew Clarke, ed., Handbook of Research on Development and Religion. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013.
“Leadership toward Earth-Honoring Religions.” Invited chapter in Sharon Callahan, ed. Religious Leadership: A Reference Handbook. Sage Publications, 2013.
“Being Church in and against White Privilege.” Invited chapter in Mary Streufert, ed. Transforming Lutheran Theologies: Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista Perspectives, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.
“Love as a political-ecological vocation in the Context of economic globalization.” Invited chapter in Allan Boesak and Len Hansen, eds. Globalization II: global Crisis, Global Challenge, and Global Faith, Stellenbosch, South Africa: Sun Press, 2010.
“Cross, Resurrection, and Climate Change.” Invited chapter in Karen L. Bloomquist & Rolita Manchila, eds. God, Creation and Climate Change, Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press: 2009.
“The Holy Spirit: Power for Confessing Faith in the Midst of Empire.” Invited chapter in Karen Bloomquist, ed. Being Church in the Midst of Empire: Trinitarian Reflections, 125-148. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2007.
“Dry Bones...Breath Came into Them and They Lived.” Invited chapter in David Rhoads, ed. Earth and Word: Sermons on Ecology, Nature, Creation, and Justice, 203-210.Continuum, April, 2007.
“Liturgy Reshaping Society.” Invited chapter in a Ordo: Bath, Word, Prayer, Table: A Liturgical Primer in Honor of Gordon Lathrop, 164-187. Akron: OSL Publications, 2006.
“A Theology of the Cross for the Un-Creators.” Invited chapter in Marit Trelstadt, ed. Cross-Examination: Interrogating the Cross for its Meaning Today,181-195. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006.
“Offering Resistance to Globalization: Insights from Luther.” Invited chapter in Globalization and the Good: Ethical Perspectives on the Global Economy, ed. Peter Heslam, 95-104. London: SPCK, 2004.
“Communio and a Spirituality of Resistance.” Invited chapter in Karen L. Bloomquist, ed., Communion, Responsibility, Accountability: Responding as a Lutheran Communion to Neoliberal Globalization,145-156. Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, 2004.
Articles (since 2000)
“Climate Change as Climate Debt: Forging a Just Future.”Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 36.1 (Spring/Summer 2016).
“Yom Kippur’s Call for Environmental Repentance: Overcoming Social Sin.” Tikkun (Fall 2016).
“Neighbor-love’s Moral Framework: From Markets That Concentrate Wealth to Markets That Serve Abundant Life for All.” Journal of Lutheran Ethics (on-line journal), (January 2014). (Reprint from chapter with same title above.)
“An Epistemological Problem and Possibility,” Theology 116.1 (January/February 2013), 28-30.
“Climate Justice, Environmental Racism, and Lutheran Moral Vision,” Intersections 36 (Fall 2012), 22-27.
“God’s Lovers as ‘Uncreators’: Morality in the Face of Systemic Evil,” Seminary Ridge Review 15/1 (Autumn 2012), 50-69.
“Climate Justice, Environmental Racism, and a Lutheran Moral Vision,” Intersections (Fall 2012), 22-27.
"Neighbor-love as an Economic-Ecological Vocation: Clues from Luther," Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. XXI No. 2 June 2010 (published in 2011), 18-37.
“Karen Bloomquist, Luther and the Challenge of Climatic Justice." Currents in Theology and Mission, 37:3 (June 2010).
“Free Trade Agreements and the Neo-Liberal Economic Paradigm: Economic, Ecological, and Moral Consequences,” Journal of Political Theology 10:4 (2009): 685-716. (Co-written with Daniel Spencer)*
“Liturgy for the Uncreators.” Studia Liturgica 38 (2008):64-80.*
“Religious Claims in Public: Lutheran Resources.” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 45:4 (Winter 2006): 322-337.
“Christian Ethics toward Earth-Honoring Faiths.” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 57:1-2 (2004): 132-150.*
“Globalization and Luther’s Eucharistic Economic Ethics.” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 42:1 (Fall 2003): 250-256.
“Being Human on Earth: Our Role in Reversing Environmental Degradation” (perspective review of Being Human: Ethics, Environment, and Our Place in the World, by Anna Lisa Peterson and of The Care of Creation: Focusing Concern and Action, by R. J. Berry). Second Opinion, refereed journal of the Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics (April 2002): 84-94.
“Journey Between Worlds: Economic Globalization and Luther’s God Indwelling Creation.” Word and World: Theology for Christian Ministry XXI: 4 (Fall 2001): 413-423.
“A Christian Ethical Re-read of Economic Globalization: A Step Toward Subversive Moral Agency.” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 52:3-4 (1998): 131-155.
- Grant Funding
- ATS - Lilly Theological Research Grants Program, Faculty Fellowship ($30,000), 2010.
- Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religious Studies: Grant to fund “Teaching and Leaning toward Eco-Justice: Where Sustainability and Social Justice Meet in Theological Education,” a 3-day seminar convening faculty from around the nation, 2010.
- Wabash Center, research grant, summer 2005.
- Faculty Fellowship, awarded by Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (Seattle University), 2014-15.
- Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, Office of the Provost (Seattle University), 2014.
- Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, College of Arts and Sciences (Seattle University), 2007, 2013.
- Faculty Justice Fellow, Center for the Study of Justice in Society (Seattle University), 2007-8.
- Daniel Day Williams Award for Outstanding Work in Theology, Union Theological Seminary, 2001.