Speaking at a book launch on 9 September linked with the meeting of the Globethics.net consortium committee at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Professor Dietrich Werner challenged churches and related religious bodies to respond to today’s environmental crisis by answering the question “How can we make our impact felt?”
Werner, senior advisor to the German-based non-governmental organization Brot für die Welt in the area of theology, ecumenical education and research, is co-editor with his Bread for the World colleague Elisabeth Jeglitzka of Eco-Theology, Climate Justice and Food Security: Theological Education and Christian Leadership Development (Globethics.net, 2016).
He explained that the resource grew out of a 3-year study process conducted in association with the Volos Academy in Greece, inspired partly by concerns over “climate justice and eco-theology” voiced at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Busan, Republic of Korea in 2013, and culminating in a follow-up consultation at Volos in March 2016.
While it is widely recognized that environmental dangers are posing a global threat to humankind, Werner said, it is much less clear how an adequate response is to be reflected in religious education at various levels. “How will this affect the teaching of the churches?” he asked.
The publication of Eco-Theology, Climate Justice and Food Security makes available a range of viewpoints and practical models for Christian leadership development, as well as calls for closer cooperation among the world’s religions.
The volume concludes with “A Manifesto for the Ecological Reformation of Christianity” that was received by participants in the Volos consultation.
The book launch took place within the context of the ecumenically instigated liturgical season of “A Time for Creation,” set annually from 1 September through 4 October.