Theologies of the Environment

A group of my students researched articles on environmental and ecological issues in theological and spiritual periodicals in Flanders and the Netherlands over the last 6 or 7 years and found the result disappointing and frustrating. Very little has been published and in this small set of articles, most contributions are informative (information about the climate change crisis) and written from an ethical or moral perspective. “Real” theological stuff is very rare and offers very superficial argumentation. We have been wondering why this is the case. Part of the answer, in my opinion, concerns the fact that we do not really have a metaphysics of togetherness at hand. We are too used to think in terms of the subject as autonomous and creative individual and we find it difficult to start from a perspective of fundamental togetherness and co-belonging. It is remarkable, then, and these students understood that clearly (they started their presentation with a song, a kind of liturgical moment), that we need to “fall back” on sacramental and liturgical practices. The adequate theological framework has still to be developed out of these praxes.

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