Climate change: a Christian response in theology and action. Part 5: Summation and bibliography

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Part 1 summarised the urgent threat of harmful climate change.
Part 2, surveyed causes of climate change denial and inaction.
In Part 3, I proposed that for theology to respond well to these and to be effective in offering insights on climate change:

  • we must strive toward a working consensus on the applicable theology;
  • we may need to look to our own manner of working;
  • we should be scientifically literate and reasonable;
  • we must be willing strongly to ‘speak truth to power’; and
  • we must be willing to use whatever is known now to speak and act quickly.

Part 4 discussed ways in which theology can offer moral and ethical insight on climate change, especially in the dimensions of justice, equity, freedom and peace. It can offer theological perspectives, not only to advocate action but also to contribute meaning and explanation. Some of this meaning comes from an exploration of cosmic worldviews. Theology may also contribute in the affective dimension of our response to climate change—human feelings and emotions, stories and images, our creativity and relationships. Our theology must also calls the church to repentance through action.

Whatever our theological response to climate change may be, it must surely be grounded in the incarnational presence of Christ. As John Boswell wrote (in a different context):

A life can be an argument; being can be a reason. An idea can be embodied in a person, and in human form it may break down barriers and soften hardness of heart that words could not. … Christ was God’s unanswerable ‘argument.’ His people had hardened their hearts against his spoken reasons, the arguments propounded—in words—for centuries by prophets and sages. So he sent an argument in the form of a human being, a life, a person. The argument became flesh and blood: so real that no one could refute or ignore it. [1]

Note

  1. John Boswell, “Logos and Biography,” in Theology and Sexuality: Classic and Contemporary Readings, edited by Eugene F. Rogers, Jr., 356-60 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002).

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