What is at Stake in an Ecological Theology of Creation

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Solange Ngah |

This contribution aims to offer some points of departure for a theology of creation.

In the present context, developing an ecological theolgy of creation should take into account the complexity of the situation in order to provide humanity with a new paradigm. Such a theology has to face the challenges of putting the relation between God and the whole of creation, and not only anthropocentrism, right at the heart of modern ecological debates.

In the light of the ecological stakes and the urgency to make changes in our lifestyles, the Church and its various social agents are called to show signs of their own engagement for authentic and sustainable development. They should propose to Christian communities steps they can take to demonstrate their consciousness of the environmental question and their desire to act. That is why an ecological theology of creation should also highlight the universal communion of all creatures showing that all creatures belong to God (cf. Wdm 11:26). From this point of view, Pope Francis affirms that an ecological theology of creation should consider all creation as a work of the Trinity, showing that “The world was created by the three Persons acting as a single divine principle, but each one of them performed this common work in accordance with his own personal property.”[1] From this comes the conviction that people and other creatures form a universal family and are imbued with a sacred character.

Because of the profound solidarity between humans and the created world, theology and catechesis of creation are from now on essential to every proposition of the Christian faith. According to François Euvé, based on biblical anthropology, a catechesis of creation should explain the specific responsibility of people towards the rest of creation and show how this vision of the profound role of people is conformed to God’s plan.[2] Finally, an ecological theology should necessarily integrate the notion of human ecology linked with that of integral development, and show the incoherence of expecting only future generations to respect the natural environment.

 

Presented by Solange Ngah, doctoral student in moral theology

at the Catholic University of Central Africa, Yaoundé, Cameroon.



[1] Francis, Laudato Si’, 238.

[2] cf. François Euvé, “Principes d’une écologie chrétienne,” Études, no. 416, 2012, p. 497.

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