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Social Ecology, Ecojustice and the New Testament
Carlos Alberto Sintado
Our planet Earth is going through an unprecedented crisis. The current ecological predicament is such that has the potential to annihilate life as we know it today. It is a global phenomenon that concerns every human being and even the whole creation itself. The international community and many organizations have issued persistent calls to change habits and behaviors as well as the basic organizational pattern of societies to make this world sustainable for future generations.
Social ecology is one of the secular disciplines that tries to understand the reasons why we have reached this point as well as suggests new ways to overcome the crisis. Ecojustice is a concern that women and men of faith articulate in order to find in the sources of their own religious traditions guiding principles and resources to confront the current world situation. In this context, people of faith ask whether the Bible has anything to say or contribute to this particular situation.
Throughout history, the Bible has been used, misused, and abused to justify almost anything, even the worst evils humanity has ever known, such as wars, slavery, racism, patriarchy, colonization, marginalization, and exploitation. Nevertheless, the Bible, as witness of the story of God’s good creation and of the pilgrimage of God’s people, has also been seen by many as providing a critical contribution to justice and peace and to the people’s commitment to safeguard God’s creation. This book reads selected New Testament texts–The Gospel of Mark, the letter to the Romans, and the Book of Revelation–using the key tenets of Social Ecology and ecojustice as a basic hermeneutical framework. It deals with three different genres–gospel, letter, and apocalypse–and suggests liberating readings that can inspire and sustain people’s commitment in the struggle to build a sustainable and more humane society, based on justice and peace for all God’s creatures.