Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics pages:303-313
Today, there has been an increased awakening to the issues of environmental concern. This is a welcome situation because human beings need to cherish and care for the cosmos in which they live since they depend on other things in the eco-system for their survival. The biblical injunction, to “subdue” and “have dominion” (Gn 1:28) has, sometimes, been misinterpreted to serve as a blanket permission to plunder nature and the environment without due regard.
It is obvious that in the exercise of its creative intelligence, humankind has rather manipulated the environment in a way that has tampered with the ecological balance. The effect of such imbalance touches not only the natural environment but also human beings themselves. Denis Edwards notes in his book, Ecology at the Heart of Faith, that “while Christianity has to accept some responsibility for the ecological crisis, a list of major contributors would need to include the Enlightenment view of the natural world in instruments terms, the rise of capitalism, the industrial revolution, technological society, an economy based uncritically on endless selfish growth, uncontrolled corporations, and unrestrained greed” (p.20). The present ecological problem is a matter that needs multi-dimensional solution.
At the heart of any meaningful solution is metanoia, a change of heart that breeds a certain kind of life-style – personal and communal. While technological advancements have to go on, there is need for the sharpening of ecological consciousness. Of course, the problem of ecology cannot be solved by technology alone because ethical and religious questions are also involved, says José Morales (cf José Morales, Creation Theology, 247). Both Edwards and Morales call for the development of a theology that will be insightful in a way that helps people to re-appraise reality better. While Morales looks towards the direction of creation theology, Edwards thinks in terms of the Jesus-event.
Bearing both directions in mind, I will argue in this paper, leaning on Gerald O’Collins’ interpretation of the resurrection, that the bodily resurrection of Jesus offers a good ground for such re-appraisal. O’Collins sees the resurrection (of Jesus) not only a re-creative event but also as a revelatory event which reveals something not only about Jesus himself and about God, but also about human beings and their world. It is expected that the analysis of this revelation as it relates to human beings and their world will offer that required “change of heart that leads to a new way of living on earth.”