Ecology at the Heart of Faith Paperback – Apr 25 2006
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About the Author
Denis Edwards teaches theology at the Flinders University School of Theology in Adelaide, South Australia and is the author of Breath of Life.
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Based on the God-centered (not human-centered) teaching of the bible, he explores an ecological theology that honors and respects all creatures. Today, he suggests, many Christians accept care of creation as God's will, yet fail to see their actions as discipleship with Jesus. Jesus knew God was involved with every sparrow that falls to the ground, Edwards reminds us. Connecting the living memory of Jesus with the issues that confront the global community is essential if ecological action is to be seen "not only as ethically responsible but also as radically Christian."
He shares his vision of actions and attitudes that could result from a widespread conversion to this radical Christianity, carried out in all aspects of daily life as well as through public witness by the church. Among other changes, he sees a critical challenge to current economic and political practices and acceptance of the reality that resources of earth are finite and "current Western consumption patterns...bring death and destruction to other species in our planetary community life." Other topics Edwards addresses include writings on the future of the world by theologians Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner and an ecological theology of the Eucharist.
This timely, clearly written resource, with its strong summary chapter, extensive notes, and detailed index, is ideal for those wishing to further their understanding of the ecological icrisis facing our world and ways that we can make a difference today. The entire work or specific chapters could be used by families, small groups, or educators.
Buddhism easily sees how all of creation (people, plants, animals, the water and land, etc) are interrelated. Christians, in time, have tended to deduce that man is to dominate creation. That was based on a non-crtitical interpretation of one of the creation stories found in the Book of Genesis. Denis Edwards shows how this has not always been the case. After the flood, the Lord explains to Noah how all creation is to live in harmony.
Edwards points out how aspects of the Catholic mass celebrate in unity with creation (while keeping the dignity and specialness of humanity). Again, this has been forgotten, but after reading this book, I can see how it is all still there in the mass, today.
I read this book the week that my beloved hound got very sick and died. It helped me through this sad time and allowed me to see that God also loved my pooch. This book has a healing quality to it and so I recommend it to everyone Christian and non-Christian, alike. It will open your eyes to see the world in a new and wonderful way.
I had hoped that he would take his beautiful proposals regarding the love of God for all creatures one step further to address the abuse of animals that takes place in factory farming but although his words danced pretty close to the issue they did not arrive. His work however is very inspiring and can be used by people of faith who are concerned about the way that creatures and creation are being damaged, destroyed and abused in the world today. I look forward to reading his later writings and recommend his work to those who seek theologically grounded writing that addresses the current crisis.