Browsing by Subject "environmental ethics"

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  • Pihkala, Panu (2016)
    The 1941 Malvern Conference included significant environmental statements, which have gradually been forgotten. In this article I point out their relevance and discuss their possible influence. I analyse the background of these environmental statements and suggest that British theology has probably played a stronger role in environmentalism than has previously been understood. I analyse the ecotheological positions of Malvern and William Temple in the context of a typology of ecotheological stances as developed by Willis Jenkins. While the exact influence of Malvern is difficult to assess, I refer to sources which show that its environmental content was noticed by certain prominent thinkers and contributed, for its part, to the development of ecumenical ecotheology.
  • Pihkala, Panu Petteri (2016)
    This article explores the possibilities offered by theories of recognition and identity politics for a better understanding of religious – in this case, Christian – environmentalism. Insights related to recognition are gleaned from literature in ecological theology. Themes for further research and possibilities for practical adaptation are explored. It is argued that theories of recognition help to understand the dynamics related to processes where a certain group asks for more recognition of nature. Identity questions and developments in environmentalism are clarified by an understanding of what happens when partial recognition is granted. The role of mutuality as a basis for recognition is widened by Arto Laitinen’s proposal for recognition as “adequate regard” for something, i.e. for an ecosystem. The complex relations between humans and non-human nature are explored through such themes as reciprocity and the question of “voices” of nature. Creaturely difference and the role of seeing a “face” in nature are discussed in relation to recognition. The significance of place and environmental conditions for recognition are probed. Special attention is given to Andrew Dobson’s application of Nancy Frazer’s theory of transformative recognition to environmental matters, which offers new ways of understanding the role of non-human nature in politics, ethics and discussions on justice.
  • Pihkala, Panu Petteri (2016)
    In this article, I examine the early history of Christian environmentalism (“ecotheology”) in the twentieth century. I delineate four strands of early ecotheology: agrarian ecotheology; social Christianity; British contributions; and “post-liberal” foundations for later ecotheological movements. I show that ecotheology was a slowly-rising movement, which had notable proponents. I argue that these early ecotheologians are significant for several reasons. First, these writings support the view that there are momentous roots of environmentalism in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Second, these texts reveal important information about the relation of Christian and other environmentalism. Third, early ecotheologians contributed to discussion about themes which would later form distinctive environmental disciplines, such as environmental aesthetics, education, ethics, history and philosophy. Their thoughts offer interesting reflections pointing to these fields. Fourth, the contributions by the early ecotheologians are not only historically interesting, but they have relevance for the current discussion. These theologians were in a special position to notice the major changes brought by technological development in the twentieth century and they provided important critical reflections about these issues. Because they developed their thought independently, they display creative thinking, although often in an unfinished manner.
  • Pihkala, Panu Petteri (2016)
    Plans for a Lutheran “eco-reformation” are complicated by the polarization of views related to environmental issues. I argue that there is a special reason to take the agenda of eco-reformation seriously: a widespread and often unconscious environmental anxiety, which posits a pastoral and existential challenge that must be addressed by the churches. I contextualize the challenge of eco-reformation in the historical context of Lutheran eco-theology. Finally, I briefly discuss two key themes for Lutheran eco-theology: God's presence in nature and the theology of the cross.