Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hope During the Apocalypse

This morning, I finished the book that I have been using for my daily devotional: Ecotheology: Voices From South and North; David G. Hallman ed.; 1994. I posted a cursory review of the collection on Goodreads:

"Compiled in 1994, much of this collection is still fresh, relevant, and prophetic. An updated version would be greatly welcomed, one that should be required reading in seminary.

Ecotheology deals with being: God's caretakers; fighters for human justice and environmental justice; and participants in Jesus' healing ministry. It can not stand separate from secular ecological movements or in religious isolation. It borrows strongly from liberation and feminist theology as inter-related strands in the braid of a new theology of hope, love, and inclusiveness. Ecotheology brings together ecology and economy into an 'ecologic' of accountability."

The final chapter is entitled: Chosen Persons and the Green Response to the Population Apocalypse by Catherine Keller; the following excerpts provide a flavor of the book:

"Population is only one of at least four horsemen of doom; the others might be named Economics, War and Environment. But they gallop together, this quartet, inextricable in their cumulative momentum of horror. Without any literalist expectation of a particular and predictable termination, it is hard to miss the global threat of doom. If many of us came of age under the sign of the nuclear Armageddon, it is at this moment pre-eminently an eco-apocalypse we face. I am interested in facing the apocalyptic threat, in letting it exhort us to 'wake up', the perennial biblical call to consciousness, to 'prepare', to rub away the numbness brought on either by too much pain or too much comfort. But only for the sake of what we may dub the 'counter-apocalypse' which Jesus seems also to have pursued: that sense of urgency which does not plan on ultimate doom but rather begins already in the present 'communities of resistance and solidarity' to experience the divine realm, that is, that which for us may better translate as meaningfulness of life."

"...beyond rhetorical pragmatics, it seems to me the prophetic vision of shalom is sensuous in its relation to the world and rarely prone to obsessions about private morality. What we need is a sensuous asceticism, in which the joy of our senses -at the rhythm of day and night, the rising of the sun and stars, the parade of seasons, the delight of fresh water, of wholesome food, the zest which arises from having enough and getting free of the consumer addictions of over-indulgence and accompanying self-detestation - works to support the reduction of our consumption levels."

(photography by tiwago)


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