Morrison, G. J. (2010). Thinking otherwise: Theology, inculturation and climate change. Australian eJournal of Theology, 16(1), 1-14.
Eco-Theology and Creation Spirituality are examples of major attempts to dialogue with science. In the process, they have journeyed through diversity. In contrast, the essay will seek to take another route to think otherwise upon ecological responsibility. First, it comments on the danger of being forgetful of the Christian narrative. This is not to deny the impact of climate change or global warming, but to argue that fear and facts should not necessarily be the starting point for addressing our present concern. The essay then brings into conversation the idea of ‘the quest’ for Jesus the Christ. The quest consists of five key stages: life, journey, discovery, transformation and transcendence. Using these stages as a guide, the essay sets out to develop a logic of faith to bring theo-logical sense and meaning to the conversation upon climate change. Rather than the totality of the presence of personal experience, the objectivity of facts and the being of competing, purely anthropocentric self-interests, there is something “otherwise”: the wisdom of God working in us in hidden ways. Through life, in the journey of faith, the self faces the opportunity to discover and discern God’s will. This may perhaps lead to transformation and transcendence where prayer and ethics concord in the passion to give of oneself for the world. In other words, a thinking otherwise of ‘what God has revealed through the Spirit’ (1 Cor 2:10), namely the person and mission of Jesus the Christ, is invoked into the conversation. For the Church, this is the logic of inculturation, that is, of witnessing the Christian truth so that others can understand and accept it. Dramatically, the spirit of truth can be revealed in a personal ‘hello’ containing a benediction, a first transcendence or an invocation to be responsible. Vigilantly, in this encounter of the proximity of the other’s face, the possibility comes to mind to hear the word of God and think otherwise upon ecological responsibility.
Peer-reviewed, Theology, Inculturation, Climate Change, Global Warming, Emmanuel Levinas, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, Quest, Journey, Life, Discovery, Transformation, Transcendence