The Symphony of God, Humanity, and the Universe
By giving special attention to the integral relationship among God, the cosmos, and humanity, the works of Thomas Berry (1914–2009, USA) and Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073, China) provide insights that speak to the current ecological crisis, a cosmological context for developing an Ecozoic spirituality, while helping to advance clear values and ethical parameters that lead to a more authentic human presence on Earth.
Chapter 1. The Christian Response to the Ecological Crisis
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This chapter includes three subsections: the roots of the ecological crisis, the response of Christianity to that crisis, and a proposed turn to cosmology. Firstly, I will provide a brief sketch of the current ecological crisis. From among the many causes of the ecological crisis, I will address how the human community has separated from the Earth community and lost a relationship of sacred communion with the rest of creation, drawing mostly from Berry’s analysis. Then, I will examine the various Christian responses to the ecological crisis. As the ecological crisis is rooted in a distorted ––and dysfunctional human presence on Earth, I will review Christian stewardship and egalitarian models, which shed light on the question of how to develop an alternative human-Earth relationship for a viable future. Subsequently, I will review with two specific Christian voices: the eco-theology of Sallie McFague and the contemplative spirituality of Thomas Merton. Through their distinctive contributions, these models and thinkers suggest new ways of understanding the human-Earth relationship through an ecologically-sensitive Christian lens. Lastly, this chapter will call attention to the central challenge of turning to cosmology for the integral functioning of humanity with the rest of the Earth community.
Undeniably, the direst concern facing Christianity and the world today is the very survival of humanity and of our planet. James Lovelock, known for his Gaia theory, discusses the nature of climate change and its impact on the Earth and humanity in The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning. In...
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