Norman Wirzba

Norman Wirzba

Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology

External address: 
407 Chapel Drive, 211B Gray Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90967, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-3496


Norman Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. He lectures frequently in Canada and the United States. His work focuses on understanding and promoting practices that can equip both rural and urban church communities to be more faithful and responsible members of creation. Current research is centered on a recovery of the doctrine of creation and a restatement of humanity in terms of its creaturely life.

Professor Wirzba has published The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight. His most recent books are Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating and (with Fred Bahnson) Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation. He also has edited several books, including The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land and The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry.

Professor Wirzba serves as general editor for the book series Culture of the Land: A Series in the New Agrarianism, published by the University Press of Kentucky, and is co-founder and executive committee member of the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Loyola University at Chicago 1994
  • M.A., Loyola University at Chicago 1991
  • M.A., Yale University 1988

Selected Grants

Rethinking Humanity's Place in an Anthropocene World awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2021

A Human Place in the World awarded by Association of Theological Schools (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2016

Wirzba, N. Sustainable Agriculture and the World’s Religious Traditions. The University Press of Kentucky, 2014.

Wirzba, N. Food and faith: A theology of eating. 2011, pp. 1–244. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511978982. Full Text

Wirzba, N. Food and faith : a theology of eating: a theology of eating. Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Wirzba, N., and B. E. Benson. Transforming philosophy and religion: Love's wisdom. 2008, pp. 1–263.

Wirzba, N., and B. E. Benson. Transforming philosophy and religion : love's wisdom: love's wisdom. Indiana University Press, 2008.

Benson, B. E., and N. Wirzba. The phenomenology of Prayer. 2005, pp. 1–298.


Wirzba, N. “North American Agrarian Theology.” In Creation and Salvation: A Companion on Recent Theological  Movements, edited by E. Conradie, LIT Verlag, 2012.

Wirzba, N. “In God’s Garden: Living the Good News in a Changing Climate.” Sacred Acts: The Hopeful Work of Churches to Protect God’s Climate, edited by M. McDuf, New Society Publishers, 2012.

Wirzba, N. “Thanks for the Dirt: Gratitude as the Basis for Environmental Ethics.” Diversity and Dominion: Dialogues in Ecology, Ethics, and Theology, edited by K. S. Van Houten and M. Northcott, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010.

Wirzba, N. “Agrarianism.” Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability: The Spirit of Sustainability, edited by W. Jenkins, Berkshire Publishing, 2010.

Wirzba, N. “Emmanuel Levinas.” World Philosophers and Their Works, Salem Press, 2010.

Wirzba, N. “Farms.” The Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, edited by J. B. Callicott and R. Frodeman, Macmillan Reference, 2009.

Wirzba, N. “The primacy of love.” Transforming Philosophy and Religion: Love’s Wisdom, 2008, pp. 15–27.

Wirzba, N. “Agrarianism after modernity: an opening for grace.” After Modernity?, Baylor University Press, 2008, pp. 241–58.

Wirzba, N. “An Economy of Gratitude.” Wendell Berry: Life and Work, University Press of Kentucky, 2007, pp. 142–55.

Wirzba, N. “Attention and responsibility: The work of prayer.” The Phenomenology of Prayer, 2005, pp. 88–100.


Wirzba, N. “Agrarian ecotheology.” Theology, vol. 116, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 36–38. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0040571X12461228. Full Text

Wirzba, N. “Thinking Theologically About Food.” The Bible in Transmission, no. summer, 2013.

Norman Wirzba, N. “Eating in ignorance.” The Christian Century, vol. 129, no. 11, Christian Century Foundation, 2012.

Wirzba, N. “The Future of Food.” Renewing Minds: A Journal of Christian Thought, 2012.

Wirzba, N. “A Priestly Approach to Environmental Theology: Learning to Receive and Give Again the Gifts of Creation.” Dialog, vol. 50, no. 4, Dec. 2011, pp. 354–62. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1540-6385.2011.00636.x. Full Text

Wirzba, N. “Eucharistic table manners: learning how to eat.” Perspectives, vol. 26, no. 2, Feb. 2011, pp. 13–16.

Wirzba, Norman. “The Grace of Good Food and the Call to Good Farming.” Review & Expositor, vol. 108, no. 1, SAGE Publications, Feb. 2011, pp. 61–71. Crossref, doi:10.1177/003463731110800107. Full Text

Norman Wirzba, N. “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE DIRT.” Sojourners Magazine, vol. 40, no. 4, Sojourners, 2011.

Wirzba, N. “Letter to a Young Farmer.” Comment, 2011.

Wirzba, N. “Saying grace: transforming people, transforming the world.” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, vol. 3, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 195–212.


Wirzba, N. Gardening with God. Huffington Post, 12 July 2010.

Norman Wirzba, N. “Down to Earth: A Review of Eric Freyfogle’s The New Agrarianism.” The Christian Century, vol. 118, no. 32, Christian Century Foundation, 2001, pp. 44–45.