Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eschatology and Ecofeminist Theology: The Challenge of Preaching the "New Creation" in a Time of Environmental Crisis

We're approaching texts in the Sundays of Advent ahead that have to do with "end times."  Last year I presented a paper hosted by Northeastern Seminary in October 2013 on how to preach on this theme from an ecofeminist perspective .  Contact me for the full paper (leave a comment below).  Here is an intro to the summary:

For preachers, eschatological themes are anticipated with nearly as much enthusiasm as dental check-ups. “The end of the world . . . again,” quipped one pastor at a pericope study I once attended as we tackled once more the images of the end-times that proliferate in the last Sundays of Pentecost and the first Sundays of Advent. This sarcasm perhaps masks a deeper unease about the real fears alluded to in passages such as Revelation 21:1-5 whose warnings of impending cosmic upheavals ricochet sharply off contemporary headlines about war, natural disasters, and strange “signs” that warn of dire days ahead.

Add to this the disconcerting news about species extinctions, the climate crisis, football-field-lengths of forests disappearing by the hour, and extreme forms of energy extraction, and the task of preaching “good news” in the face of seemingly immanent ecological doom can feel overwhelming to pastor and congregation alike. Especially for the preacher, the dual temptations to either legalistically preach about “saving the earth” or to irresponsibly encourage waiting passively for a messianic solution can lead to an “apocalyptic either/or logic—if we can’t save the world, then to hell with it. Either salvation or damnation,” as Catherine Keller observes

To read the full post: