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Foundations of ‘Ecological Reformation’: a critical study of Jürgen Moltmann’s contributions towards a ‘New Theological Architecture’ for environment care

Dare, Ben 2012. Foundations of ‘Ecological Reformation’: a critical study of Jürgen Moltmann’s contributions towards a ‘New Theological Architecture’ for environment care. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Jürgen Moltmann’s desire to see the relationship between humans and our natural environment improve is long-standing. In later years he called for a ‘new theological architecture’ to help facilitate an ‘ecological reformation’ of Christianity and society. While Moltmann did not claim to have created this new architecture, one of his work’s aims has clearly been to contribute towards it. To what extent has Moltmann been successful in this aim? Firstly, his doctrine of the Trinity provides the themes of love and relatedness which pervade and colour his whole project. These themes then interact with other key areas of Moltmann’s thought that inform this architecture: creation, God’s ongoing care and openness towards creation (largely pneumatology and christology), and eschatology. Each of these areas contribute to a theological architecture in which non-human creation, past, present, and future, is a full recipient of God’s uniting love and openness. Naturally this leads towards a consideration of the ecological reformation. Less positively, Moltmann’s discussion of God’s creating through self-restriction presents some problems for this architecture’s coherence, although Moltmann’s developing views on this do help provide a solution. Furthermore, analysis of the criticisms made by various commentators suggests that several debated areas are actually particularly productive for Moltmann’s contributions to the architecture. Other criticisms do highlight areas of concern and possible development, but do not present terminal problems. The potential for this architecture to address practice, not simply theory, increases through elements of Moltmann’s theological anthropology that challenge humanity’s behaviour. Those elements thus form a lens through which Moltmann’s wider contributions to the architecture more powerfully speak of the need for creation care. Therefore, while Moltmann’s contribution towards a new architecture for ecological reformation would be helped by certain modifications, nevertheless it is highly significant. Its wide scope makes it fertile for further contributions and development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:04

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