Concentrating on Creation: Following Christ in a Context of Climate Change

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    192 Downloads (Pure)


    Climate change is arguably the greatest challenge facing humanity and the planet today. It invites theologians, just as much as anyone else, to consider what we might do in the situation in which we find ourselves. In responding, our action must be informed by theory that helps us to act differently, as we seek a better future for our planet. The theologian also knows that we do not act alone, so an interrelated account needs to be fashioned, which speaks of human and divine action, and of the connection between activity and rest. This article seeks to develop just such a response – though, conscious of the scale of the task, it does so in just two areas.
    Drawing on the creation-faith of Edward Schillebeeckx, the first theme explored here is that of the interaction between critical negativity and critical positivity. His dialectical account offers the possibility of developing a distinctive form of the interplay between the positive and negative aspects in his theology that can legitimately be called critical optimism. In this spirit, the theme of human and ecological solidarity is considered, suggesting that developing this theme sequela Schillebeeckx can play a helpful role in the dialogue between Church and society that is one of the aims of public theology. Considering some recent initiatives in the UK, the article argues that Christians can show, by the way they act in society, what kind of human and ecological solidarity they are choosing to live out, and thereby what kind of human beings they are choosing to be and to become. Living a simple and sustainable lifestyle, in solidarity with all creatures, is a way of following Jesus that can be a powerful witness to Christianity today, and make an important contribution to debates about climate change.

    © 2017, Stephen van Erp, Martin G. Poulson and Lieven Boeve. This is an author produced version of a chapter published in GRACE, GOVERNANCE AND GLOBALIZATION: THEOLOGY AND PUBLIC LIFE uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGrace, Governance and Globalization
    Subtitle of host publicationTheology and Public Life
    EditorsStephan van Erp, Martin Poulsom, Lieven Boeve
    Place of PublicationLondon; New York, NY
    PublisherT&T Clark / Bloomsbury
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)978-0-5676-6765-6, 978-0-5676-6766-3
    ISBN (Print)978-0-5676-6764-9
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017

    Publication series

    NameT & T Clark Studies in Edward Schillebeeckx
    PublisherBloomsbury T&T Clark

    Cite this