The overall aim of the seminar is to deepen theological dialogue, exchange, and ecumenical reflection in the field of ecological theology and eco-justice,” said Dr Louk Andrianos, WCC consultant on care for creation.
In her opening remarks, Rev. Dr. Kuzipa Nalwamba, WCC programme director for Unity and Mission, and Ecumenical Formation, posed the question: “What is the place of the church in God’s oikoumene?
“The church cannot be equated with God’s household. For that reason, its identity and mission should be understood in relation to the entire cosmos especially in the midst of widespread ecological destruction,” Nalwamba said.
Dr Otto Schafer, co-chair of the Ecumenical and Francophone Society on the Theology of Ecology from the University of Strasbourg, shared that the society has become not only a place of exchange but also a true ecumenical and international communion in promoting the link between theological research and engagement in the field, including through joint collaboration with WCC. Schafer reminded the meeting that the 2023 seminar is focused on the critical question of the place of anthropology in our way of doing ecological theology.
Looking to the immediate future, Dr Prof. Fabien Revol, chair of the Ecumenical and Francophone Society on the Theology of Ecology and professor of theology at the Catholic University of Lyon, said that the next seminar will delve deeper and reflect on the spiritual dimension of this anthropology.
Revol expressed deep gratitude to WCC for the continuing cooperation as captured in the new publication titled, "Penser les relations écologiques en théologie à l'ère de l'Anthropocène" ("Reflecting on Ecological Relations in Theology in the Anthropocene Era") which is the fruit of a 2021 WCC-Francophone Society on the Theology of Ecology seminar.
Launched during the seminar, “the book is a contribution that will continue to widen ecumenical perspectives on eco-theology and eco-justice. In this way, [the Ecumenical and Francophone Society on the Theology of Ecology] has contributed a further impetus to the ecological reformation,” Nalwamba said.
The seminar participants, comprised of theologians from Roman Catholic, Reformed, and Orthodox traditions, visited the Orthodox Center of Geneva in Chambesy. During the visit, Dr Yorgos Lemopoulos Yorgos, former WCC deputy general secretary, read a special welcome message from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.