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Ecologies of GraceEnvironmental Ethics and Christian Theology$
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Willis Jenkins

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328516

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328516.001.0001

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The Strategy of Ecological Spirituality

The Strategy of Ecological Spirituality

(p.93) 5 The Strategy of Ecological Spirituality
Ecologies of Grace

Willis Jenkins (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses the rubric of ecological spiritualities to gather together proposals united by their appropriation of deification themes, where communion with creation becomes part of union with God. It argues that theological variety proliferates within a so-called “strategy of ecological spirituality”, but its approaches share a common practical rationale: each makes environmental issues matter for Christian experience by appealing to the ecological dimensions of fully Christian personhood. Underlying creation's integrity and faithful stewardship (the other two strategies), say theorists, there is a radical relation of personhood and environment. Environmental lament and redress begin from a primary spiritual communion of humanity and earth, assumed into personal experience with God. As they describe how grace can heal that communion, restoring ecological dimensions to personhood as humans become closer to God, approaches within this strategy draw on a background pattern of grace as deification. The strategy illuminates the way of the world into divine participation, as it describes the cosmic significance of personal communion. Used more and less intensively, the deification pattern shapes multiple theologies that deploy cosmology and anthropology to diagnose and practically address environmental issues.

Keywords:   ecological spiritualities, union with God, environmental justice, creation spirituality, sacramental ecology, cosmic creativity

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