Original Research - Special Collection: Johan Buitendag Festschrift

The transformation of theology in the present climate crisis

Jürgen Moltmann
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 2 | a8460 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i2.8460 | © 2023 Jürgen Moltmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 January 2023 | Published: 04 April 2023

About the author(s)

Jürgen Moltmann, Department of Systematic Theology, Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; and Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa

Abstract

Humanity is facing an ecological catastrophe. Culprits include a linear understanding of time which looks only to the future and the human belief in progress. This ideology has remained the same in the search for solutions; technological progress must provide the answer. However, the article argued that a green transformation is needed. Ecological justice is required. Not only the rights of humans but also of nature, the earth and animals should be respected. Ecological justice and social justice are connected. This pertains to the rights of future generations to achieve a green transformation of urban life (Moltmann 2019:87).The article proposed three changes. Firstly, nature should no longer be seen and treated by humans as an object to be exploited but instead as a fellow subject in the green creation community. Secondly, humanity should be seen as embedded in this community of creation. Thirdly, a new cosmic spirituality with a deep respect for life and everything that lives is needed.

Contribution: This article exposed and overturned the much taken-for-granted paradigm of progress towards the future that currently dominates humanity. It illustrated the consequences of this way of thinking. It proposed a radically different yet simple, spiritual and highly respectful alternative view of creation.


Keywords

ecological crisis; technological progress; spirituality; nature as a subject; community of creation

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 13: Climate action

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