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Christian Animism, Green Spirit Theology, and the Global Crisis Today

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Abstract This essay analyses the biblical promise and ethic of Christian animism: because everything God made is a bearer of the Holy Spirit human beings are obligated to care for creation. Three points are made. a) A retrieval of the Spirit’s disclosure of herself in the biblical literatures as one with the four cardinal elements —Earth, air, water, and fire. b) An analysis of how the Spirit is the “soul” of the Earth—the breath of creation—and the Earth is the “flesh” of the Spirit—the living landscapes of divine presence. c) A study of the significance of the church surviving in a period when the message of the Gospel is fundamentally threatened; this is the alarming status confessionis of our time. The hope of Christian animism—the vision of a shared and verdant Earth saturated with divine presence—is the ground for religiously charged transformative responses to the crisis of unsustainable living today.


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Affiliations: 1: Swarthmore College PA USA


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