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The Salvation of the World and Saving the Earth: An Orthodox Christian Approach

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

In his article in this volume, Ernst Conradie proposes a “conceptual map” for speaking about salvation based on the Reformed tradition. The present essay aims to provide some vistas of a terrain for which Conradie’s “map” would be largely uninformative if not misleading. We outline the basic understanding of salvation according to the Orthodox Christian tradition, with particular reference to St Maximus the Confessor, emphasizing its essential cosmic dimension and commenting occasionally on Willis Jenkins recent treatment of the subject (Jenkins 2008). Following on from Conradie’s discussion of soteriological metaphors, we briefly revisit some of these and other traditional images for the way in which Christ saves and the effects of his saving work, and reflect on their relevance for a response to environmental crises.

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