The magnitude of the current ecological crisis demands a fundamental redefinition of human identity. It is no longer viable to regard human beings as the apex of creation; rather, humans must be recognized as existing within an intricate web of cosmic relations. For Christian sacramental theology, this redefinition requires that the horizon of theological reflection be shifted from a redemption-centered focus to a cosmocentric one. In this book, Dorothy C. McDougall elaborates the construction of an ecological sacramental theology based on the metaphor of the cosmos as the primary sacrament. McDougall draws on the work of Thomas Berry, with its foundation in a new and emergent scientific perspective, as well as the social critique of ecofeminism as two significant resources.
What does postcoloniality have to do with sacramentality? How do diasporic lives and imaginaries shape the course of postcolonial sacramental theology? Neither postcolonial theorists nor sacramental theologians have hitherto sought to engage in a sustained dialogue with one another. In this trailblazing volume, Kristine Suna-Koro brings postcolonialism, diaspora discourse, and Christian sacramental theology into a mutually critical and constructive transdisciplinary conversation. Dialoguing with thinkers as diverse as Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak as well as Francis D'Sa, S.J., Martin Luther, Mayra Rivera, and John Chryssavgis, the author offers a postcolonial retrieval of sacramentality through a robust theological engagement with the postcolonial notions of hybridity, contrapuntality, planetarity, and Third Space. While exploring the methodological potential of diasporic imaginary in theology, this innovative book advances the notion of sacramental pluriverse and of Christ as its paradigmatic crescendo within the sacramental economy of creation and redemptive transformation. In the context of ecological degradation, In Counterpoint argues that it is vital for the postcolonial sacramental renewal to be rooted in ethics as a uniquely postcolonial fundamental theology.
Much of Christian theology is focused on the story of Jesus and the promised consummation of all things-but the church spends its life in the gap between them. How can we live more faithfully as Christians in this gap between the resurrection of Christ and the eschaton? In Church in Ordinary Time, Amy Plantinga Pauw argues that the liturgical season of ordinary time aptly symbolizes the church's existence as God's creature in this time between the times. Pauw presents a compact Trinitarian ecclesiology that is attuned to church life in this era of ordinary time. Formal ecclesiologies have largely neglected this ordinary-time dimension of Christian life, she says, and in so doing have virtually ignored the ongoing graciousness of God's work as Creator. Drawing on the seasons of the church year and the creation theology elaborated in Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, Pauw offers wisdom for daily life in Christian communities of faith.
Recent decades have brought to light the staggering ubiquity of human activity upon Earth and the startling fragility of our planet and its life systems. This is so momentous that many scientists and scholars now argue that we have left the relative climactic stability of the Holocene and have entered a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene. This emerging epoch may prompt us not only to reconsider our understanding of Earth systems, but also to reimagine ourselves and what it means to be human. How does the Earth’s precarious state reveal our own? How does this vulnerable condition prompt new ways of thinking and being? The essays that are part of this collection consider how the transformative thinking demanded by our vulnerability inspires us to reconceive our place in the cosmos, alongside each other and, potentially, before God. Who are we “after” (the concept of) the Anthropocene? What forms of thought and structures of feeling might attend us in this state? How might we determine our values and to what do we orient our hopes? Faith, a conceptual apparatus for engaging the unseen, helps us weigh the implications of this massive, but in some ways, mysterious, force on the lives we lead; faith helps us visualize what it means to exist in this new and still emergent reality.
Theology after Heidegger must take into account history and language as constitutive elements in the pursuit of meaning. Quite often, this prompts a hurried flight from metaphysics to an embrace of an absence at the center of Christian narrativity. In this book, Conor Sweeney explores the "postmodern" critique of presence in the context of sacramental theology, engaging the thought of Louis-Marie Chauvet and Lieven Boeve. Chauvet is an influential postmodern theologian whose critique of the perceived onto-theological constitution of presence in traditional sacramental theology has made big waves, while Boeve is part of a more recent generation of theologians who even more wholeheartedly embrace postmodern consequences for theology. Sweeney considers the extent to which postmodernism a la Heidegger upsets the hermeneutics of sacramentality, asking whether this requires us to renounce the search for a presence that by definition transcends us. Against both the fetishization of presence and absence, Sweeney argues that metaphysics has a properly sacramental basis, and that it is only through this reality that the dialectic of presence and absence can be transcended. The case is made for the full but restless signification of the mother's smile as the paradigm for genuine sacramental presence.
In the last two decades a new form of religiously motivated social action and a virtually new field of academic study each based in recognition of the connections between religion and humanity 's treatment of the environment have developed. Interactions between religion and environmental concern have been manifest in the explosive growth of ecotheological writings, institutional commitment by organized religions, and environmental activism explicitly oriented to religious ideals. Clergy throughout the world in virtually every denomination have received word from leaders of their religion that the environment no less than sexuality, poverty, or war and peace is now a basic and compelling religious matter. Out of this confrontation have been born vital new theologies based in the recovery of marginalized elements of tradition, profound criticisms of the past, and ecologically oriented visions of God, the Sacred, the Earth, and human beings. Theologians from every religious tradition along with dozens of non-denominational spiritual writers have confronted world religions past attitudes towards nature. In the realm of institutional commitment, public statements and actions by organized religions have grown dramatically. In the context of political action, throughout the U.S. and the world religiously oriented groups take part in environmentally oriented political action: from lobbying and consciousness raising to activist demonstrations and civil disobedience. This collection serves as a comprehensive introduction, overview, and in-depth account of these exciting new developments. The four volumes cover virtually every aspect of the field from theological change and institutional commitment to innovation in liturgy, from new ecumenical connections among different religions and between religion, science and environmental movements, from religious participation in environmental politics to an account of the global social and political contexts in which religious environmentalism has unfolded.
Sacramentology is one of the few theological disciplines that have undergone tremendous changes in the past. In the background of all these developments, this study aims to look for a paradigm, "the world as sacrament," that encompasses various trends and is relevant to the multi-religious context of contemporary society. At the very outset it is important to state that the paradigm proposed is not entirely new. The aim of this study is to rediscover this paradigm that existed from the beginning of Christianity. Its main concern is to see the different possibilities it offers for today, as well as observing the different concerns that are present in it. It is done from the perspectives of Latin, Greek and Syrian Christian traditions.
An examination of the Canadian feminist theology context, its history, its multicultural perspective, its expression of marginal experiences, its commitment to social justice, its exploration of eco-feminism and its embrace of cultures, ethnicities and the unique contribution of Canada's First Nations peoples.