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WCC journal focuses on theology perspectives to face ecological crisis

06 February 2019

Theology can provide solutions for the sustainability issues that challenge the common home of humanity, according to the contributors to the latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

“Since the beginning, God has been understood to be an ‘ecological’ God,” guest editor Louk A. Andrianos writes in the editorial that opens the issue, titled “Theology of the Oikos,” using the Greek word to refer to the common home of humanity.

“We, as humans, are beginning to re‐envision ourselves as part of this glorious creation and as a member of an earth community, which is experiencing real threats of survival because of human greed, climate change and other extreme ecological degradations,” writes Andrianos, from the Orthodox Academy of Crete and WCC consultant for the care for creation, sustainability and eco‐justice.

The issue includes 12 articles based on papers presented to the fifth biannual international conference on Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics that took place at the academy in Kolympari, Crete, in October 2017, as the result of cooperation between the WCC and Orthodox Academy of Crete, under the sponsorship of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

“The selected articles address more urgently the need for immediate human response to the ecological crisis,” writes Andrianos. “A better understanding of the concept of our common home – oikos– is a condition for more effective human response to every challenge. It helps to affirm human responsibility for the care for the Earth and the vast communities of life.”

The articles cover topics such as religion, science and environmental ethics; nature, spirituality and culture; Christian‐Muslim collaboration for peace and justice; interreligious collaboration; biodiversity, art and environmental protection; indigenous spiritualities and ecotheology; ecology and religious environmental education; religion, environment and sustainability; spiritual values, forgiveness and ethics; theologies of oikosand eco‐justice; and environment and care for creation.

The issue also includes a reflection from three ecumenical social ethicists on a common Christian witness to confront climate degradation, as well as documents from a symposium in Amsterdam in August 2018 to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary, and public statements from the November 2018 meeting of the WCC’s executive committee in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Ecumenical Review is published by Wiley on behalf of the WCC.

Contents of the latest issue

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