THE CHURCH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: SEVEN STATIONS TOWARDS THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE WHOLE EARTH
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AbstractThis contribution offers a broad orientation regarding theological discourse on the church and the environment. The question is what the church as church can do in addressing environmental threats. The eschatological uniqueness of the church is taken into account, as well as the different dimensions of Christian witness (marturia), namely kerygma, diakonia, koinonia and leitourgia. The argument is structured in the form of seven spiritual ‘stations’ towards the sanctification of the whole earth. The thesis is that the ‘and’ in the phrase ‘church and environment’ requires theological reflection. If we also reflect on the situatedness of the church in the environment, this opens up possibilities to see the distinctive place of the church within the larger household of God – which would then also offer a theological re-description of the term ‘environment’.