Ecotheology

The Lutheran World Federation is committed to advocating for Climate Justice, and equipping member churches to care for creation. The LWF sustains this work by promoting a faithful, ecological sense of being human, and a creation-oriented spirituality that shapes the way we worship and live out our Lutheran tradition for the well-being of all creation. 

The word “ecotheology” describes an ecological way to read the Word and understand our experiences in the world. Ecotheology maintains a focus on the integral relationship between the Earth and her natural systems, the diversity and wellbeing of all living species, and the sustainability of our economic, social, political and ecological relationships. The goal of ecotheological reflection is to deepen our identity as human beings who are called to cultivate and safeguard creation (Genesis 2:15), and discern the spiritual and ethical ways to promote just, right relationships throughout the web of life.   

The LWF 12th Assembly passed a Resolution on the Commercialization and Commodification of Creation which encourages member churches to become more theologically grounded in their teaching on human dignity, our identity as creatures, our relationship to the land and the value of creation. Rooted in the LWF’s commitment to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the resolution also affirmed that the loss of biodiversity threatens the delicate balance of the earth system as seriously as climate change.  

“The web of life comes from God, and we are called to safeguard its integrity,” explains Rev. Dr Chad Rimmer, LWF Program Executive for Lutheran Theology and Practice. Loss of biodiversity causes many social, economic and political injustices that lead to wide scale humanitarian crises, he adds. “The poor and marginalized who depend most immediately on the health of ecosystems are often affected most severely by the collapse of the natural systems that sustain life and society.”

Biodiversity matters because each of God’s creatures has value in itself, and because maintaining diversity in mutuality is the key to sustaining healthy ecosystems and societies. This is God’s wisdom woven into the web of life. The goal of eco-theology is to apply these lenses to the way we read the Bible, practice our faith and express the liberating grace for all creation that is the heart of our Lutheran tradition.

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