The Gospel life was never meant to be lived enclosed, but on the edge of a new future in God. Francis of Assisi was a materialist in the best sense of the word, realizing that divine love incarnated all reality.
We are living in the midst of several major crises, including the environment and the institutional church. Does academic theology play a role? Well, yes. As co-creators, we can begin to better integrate theology and science.
What does a "religious solution" to the environmental problem look like in a church that seems to be riddled with dysfunction? But the crisis does not belong to the clergy alone; we also have a crisis of academic theology.
The 21st-century religious seeker is not bound to a rigid paradigm of ideas but is just that, a seeker or a quester, one in search of meaning, community, identity, wholeness: essentially, God.