Author: Dr. Dee Carter
Many thanks to Rob for his paper and the invitation to respond. This will not be a close (critical) response, but more a complementary, conversational contribution. Much could be said, but word limits require brevity. Suffice to say that I am in agreement with the thrust of his narrative, and should argue the need for theologians, scholars of religion/theology, and for the body of the church as a whole to think about this issue. For historically, the whole of creation – human and non-human – has not been adequately addressed, theologically; mainly the tradition has concentrated on humanity as the sole subject of God’s redeeming concern.
The issue is not simply one of ethics, important though these are. For theology is an attempt to understand and articulate God’s engagement with the world; hence Christian hope in the ultimate goal, summed up in the concept of shalom – peace, justice and the integrity of creation – is a commitment that is not merely an ethical imperative. Rather, all the processes of life in its materiality are always already at stake in the theological task.
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