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Toward a missiology that begins with creation.

Abstract

In the face of the environmental crises that threaten all of life, I first review how the WCC focus on creation emerged. I then explore what it would mean for mission theology to turn to God in creation, moving from a dominating to a kenotic "down to earth" missiology that is rooted in the earthliness of creation, there finding God's grace and healing. This is especially poignant for Dalit and Indigenous People in India who are considered of the earth (mud), and for the filling and keeping of creation that is our biblical mandate. (1)

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In 1982, Alice Walker sounded an alarm in a significant speech she delivered in San Francisco:
   Over the pandemic condition of human greed and wanton consumption
   hangs a curse, the curse of total annihilation, a curse we set in
   motion when we exploit and destroy instead of help and heal.... But
   if by some miracle, and all our struggle, the earth is spared, only
   justice to every living thing (and everything is alive) will save
   humanity. And we are not saved yet. Only justice can stop a curse.
   (2)


The enormous environmental predicament that humanity faces today is cogently reflected in these words. Climate change, global warming, deforestation, desertification, destruction of land, water and biodiversity, pollution and so on, pose grave threats to the survival of all forms of life. Humanity is on the brink of an abyss. Mission theology cannot ignore these concerns because missio Dei encompasses the entire creation of God. Of all the doctrines that have been drawn upon to develop missiological paradigms, seldom has it been the doctrine of creation. Here I will consider the doctrine of creation, as recorded in the biblical creation accounts, and its implications for an environmentally relevant missiology.

Creation in ecumenical (WCC) theological discourse

The global ecumenical movement did not at first recognize the importance of ecological issues, along with social and economic justice issues. (3) In this regard, the launching of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) programme "Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation" (JPIC) marked a seismological shift in ecumenical thinking. "Integrity of creation" provided a fresh way of bridging the issues of justice, peace and ecology. In a sense, these concerns were already aired at the WCC Vancouver Assembly (1983), through the German expression Bewahrung der Schopfung (preservation of creation). That assembly urged the WCC to "engage the member churches in a conciliar process of mutual commitment (covenant) to Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation." The central committee that immediately followed the assembly officially launched the JPIC programme in 1985. Initially, though, it was deemed a mere appendage, an add-on to the existing concerns of justice and peace. For some within the ecumenical movement, the new discourse smacked of a "new age" kind of creation spirituality. For others in the global South, it was construed as a strategy on the part of the Western environmental lobby to weaken the focus on social and economic justice concerns. However, a series of theological consultations on the theme helped to bring more clarity to this new emphasis on creation.

An important conference was held in Granvollen, Norway (1988), which provided windows into indigenous peoples' understanding of creation, with many moving stories of land alienation, pollution of water, lethal effects of militarism and war and so on. The cry at Granvollen was that creation is broken and for the sake of all creation, theology must begin with creation.

Integrity of creation gave new prominence to the doctrine of creation, which hitherto had been disregarded by traditional and contextual theologies, including liberation theology. Notable exceptions were patristic theology and process theology. Liberation theology, for instance, only realized more recently the folly of overlooking the creation theme and environmental issues. The 1990 WCC convocation on "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation," held in Seoul, Korea, was a watershed event in that it provoked profound theological deliberations on the interrelationship between social and environmental concerns. In the convocation's ten affirmations, (4) creation was given due consideration theologically. The subsequent Canberra Assembly (1991) gave particular focus to these concerns. In the section, "Giver of Life: Sustain Your Creation," the major focus was on developing a new theology of creation. Anthropocentrism was taken to task, and sustainability was an emphasis that continually was being raised up, As stated in the final report of this section:
   The understanding of creation theology and an ethic of economy and
   ecology should be reflected in the life and work of the church....
   The church should act together in the defense of life, campaign for
   protection of human life and for the preservation of the
   environment and for the abolition of the institution of war. (5)


The new emphasis on creation theology and its missiological implications are clearly spelt out here. The WCC Harare assembly (1998) also kept this momentum going by launching a project on "Theology of Life." This study project focused on case studies from various parts of the world, using the ten affirmations of the Seoul convocation as its theological basis. Also, at the WCC Porto Alegre assembly (2006) creation issues figured substantially in the theological debates. Yet creation theology has still not really penetrated into mission theology, much of which still remains predominantly anthropocentric. It is time to paraphrase the appeal of Granvollen: for the sake of all creation, mission must begin with creation.

In the following section we attempt to flesh out certain missiological ramifications of creation theology, by focusing on the creation narratives in the Bible.

Creation and history: mission implications

In a ground-breaking essay entitled "The Religious Roots of the Environmental Crisis," Lynn White made a scathing attack on the Judeo-Christian concept of creation which, in his view, has been instrumental in causing today's environmental crisis. The human-centrism embedded in the creation narrative, he argued, when combined with the logic of Western scientific rationalism, has resulted in ecological catastrophe. The White thesis has generated intense debate within both secular and theological arenas.

However, instead of being a cause of environmental problems, the Hebrew creation accounts (in Gen.) can provide theological foundations for an environmentally relevant missiology and ethic, Contrary to what White contends, I submit that reclaiming the creation tradition of the Bible, and returning to the doctrine of creation as expounded in the biblical narratives, will help Christian theology and missiology to be liberated from the captivity of anthropocentrism, which contributes to thinking and projects insensitive to the environment.

Liberation and other progressive theologies often ignore creation as a theological theme, and give prominence to history over and against nature or creation. The God of history almost subsumes the God of creation in liberation theologies. In a sense, this was in line with the biblical pattern itself, where the concept of "Creator God" came much later to the people of Israel; the "God of history" came first. As yon Rad put it: "... Israel's faith from the very first was primarily concerned with historical redemption and creation as an independent doctrine came into Israelite tradition relatively late through the influence of the wisdom movement." (6) In the Hebrew Bible, creation is offered as an introduction, a prologue to the narratives of God's interventions in history. Creation only sets the stage for this unfolding drama.

However, a close reading of the Genesis creation accounts reveals that history and creation are closely interrelated in the creation logic of the Bible, signifying God's unconditional commitment to both history and nature, to both humanity and the rest of the earth. For instance, the first creation account in the Bible (Gen. 1:1-2:4a) (7) does not stand in isolation, but rather prepares the way for a series of historical covenants: the ecological covenant with Noah (Gen. 9), the land covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17), and the climatic revelation of God on Mount Sinai (Ex. 6). "Just as the creation points forward to the Exodus and the making of the covenant with Sinai, so the covenant faith reaches backward and includes the creation. (8)

There is constant movement, both backwards and forward, between the two poles of creation and history. Creation and history are therefore inseparably intertwined. Creation is the foundation for history, the setting in which God's historical interventions on behalf of the poor and oppressed are tangibly manifest. Theology needs to unearth and give missiological expression to this intrinsic interconnectedness between creation and history.

Creation and post-colonial understandings of mission

The authors of the biblical creation accounts were aware of and influenced by creation myths prevalent among neighbouring faiths and cultures. One such influential myth was that of the Babylonians, according to which the creation of the universe was a result of a fierce conflict between two gods. According to this story, Marduk, the male God split the body of the female god, Tiamat, lifted up one half of her body, divided the waters above and set stars and planets underneath. In a similar Canaanite story of creation, creation came into being out of a clash between Baal, the god of storm and fertility and Yaam (Sea), the god of chaos.

The ancient myths of creation surrounding the people of Israel were primarily stories of primordial battles between rival gods. Creation was the outcome of their violent encounters. Unlike these aggressive and destructive modes of creation, the Hebrew creation stories present peaceful and harmonious accounts of creation with no bloodshed and conquest. In other words, in the Hebrew creation stories, there is no theogony tracing the creation to fierce feuds between gods.

Both the Priestly (hereafter "P") and the Yahwist (hereafter "J") sources of Genesis creation narratives chose to distance themselves from the militant, violent, patriarchal and imperial models of creation. This has radical implications for missiology. Unlike Marduk, the god who destroys life, in the Genesis stories, God creates and preserves life. Marduk is a conquering god, while the biblical Creator is a befriending God.

Much mission history, as we know, has been a colonial and imperial project, involving violence, conquest of peoples, their land and cultures. As M.P. Joseph reminds us:
   The history of colonialism, particularly its practice of looting
   the natives of their resources, left a deep stain on the legitimacy
   of mission movements that took refuge under colonial
   administrators. To the colonized masses the gospel appeared to be
   cultural expressions of the masters. In the combined operation of
   colonial economic projects and cultural mission people in colonized
   lands lost their sovereignty over property economy and politics and
   were forcefully delinked from their cultural pasts, which were
   considered theologically unusable. (9)


In the colonial models of mission, the missionized were colonized as well as evangelized. As an African delegate at the WCC Nairobi assembly (1975) said: "When missionaries came to us, we had our land in our hands and they had their Bibles in theirs, but by the time they left us, we had their Bibles in our hands and they had our land in theirs." The colonial mission reflects a mission praxis that is "Mardukian"--oriented towards conquering others through violent means. In the creation model of the Hebrew Bible, there is no room for brutality and conquest. A missiology grounded in biblical creation theology, with creation as a harmonious act of God who brings about life in abundance and preserves it, will be a missiology that is life affirming.

From dominion over creation toward a kenotic missiology

What about the human dominion that appears to be innate in the P account of creation in Genesis 1:28? (10) "Dominion" has been misunderstood and misinterpreted as a licence for humanity to exploit nature at will. For example, Lynn White critiques the Hebrew concept of creation for what he sees as its utterly anthropocentric and therefore anti-ecological human dominion. To counter this critique, many theologians have interpreted this passage vis-a-vis the notion of stewardship.

Orthodox theology, on the other hand, affirms human dominion in a qualified manner and interprets dominion in a kenotic sense. I call this "kenotic anthropocentrism." (11) According to Gregory of Nyssa, dominion is to be exercised in love and justice. As K.M. George (12) argues, the perfect exercise of dominion has been exemplified in Jesus Christ who despite having equality and authority (dominion), chose to empty himself of all this dominion and became a servant who sacrificed himself for the world. This is anthropocentrism with a difference, "a voluntary self-divestiture," as Andrew Ross terms it. Andrew Linzey calls it "suffering-servant humanism." K. M. George further argues that such an incarnational anthropology helps us eschew the un-Christian extremes of anthropocentrism and "anthropofugalism" and interpret anew God's image in humanity in response to the ecological challenges that we face today. (13) In fact, the word dominion is the root term used to refer to the lordship of Christ who demonstrated his lordship and dominion in service and not in mastery over others. It is this sense of service-mindedness and overcoming mastery that humanity is called to exercise in the dominion granted by God in creation. As K.M. George puts it, "The paradox of Christ making the whole creation his body by the Kenotic act of dispossessing the self, sets the paradigm for a Christian approach to creation." (14)

Mar Gregorios affirms the same point when he introduces the dialectical tension between "mastery" and "mystery." (15) While humanity has been accorded mastery over creation, humanity would do well to remember that creation is also a mystery. Hence, mastery ought to be exercised in much the same way as we exercise mastery over our bodies. Kenotic anthropocentrism challenges us to empty ourselves and serve creation for the sake of the environment. A missiology based on kenoric anthropocentrism is one where humanity is called to exercise its God-given dominion in a kenotic manner, by emptying and by being tillers and keepers of creation.

Creation through the word of God: mission as proclamation

The fact that the Bible provides us with two different accounts of creation indicates God's affirmation of a plurality of expressions. According to the P version of the creation account, the universe and all life forms were created through the utterance of God's creative word (davar). The word of God here becomes an agent or subject in the divine act of creation. In the J account of creation, God creates by acting, through deeds.

This emphasis on the word of God in the act of creation has immense missiological implications. God's creation comes about through proclamation. "And God said ..." "And it was so." We see similar passages in the Bible where the creative power of the word of God is at work, such as Psalm 33:9; Psalm 148:5; Isaiah 45:12; Ecclesiastes 42:15; Hebrews 11:3; and 2 Peter 3:5. We also encounter similar stories in the theology of ancient Memphis (16) where the god Ptah conceives of the elements of the universe with his heart (mind) and brings them forth into existence with his tongue.

All of this suggests that the dynamic word of God is creative and has the power to bring about life. The word of God through which the whole world was created was also the word (Logos) that assumed flesh in Jesus Christ. Word of God becomes a person, an act and an event.

In missiological terms, creation through the word of God also underlines the importance of mission as proclamation of the word of God. Over the years, a false dichotomy has been developed to compartmentalize the proclamation aspects (mission through words) and the praxis aspects (mission through deeds). The Creator God of the Bible has created life, both human and non-human, through both word (Gen. 1) and deed (Gen. 2), through proclamation of the word and through praxis.

While mission as proclamation is an important dimension of mission, a missiology based on the doctrine of creation can also correct some of the distortions associated with certain contemporary practices of mission through proclamation (kerygma). First and foremost, the P account of creation makes it clear that the word of God was proclaimed in order to announce life, not death, to preserve life, not annihilate life. This is in sharp contrast to some contemporary preachers and evangelists who proclaim doom, destruction and an apocalyptic end of the world. The words of Jesus, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man came not to destroy the lives of human beings but to save them" (Luke 9:55-56n) are a strong rejoinder to such doom-oriented approaches. "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10) is the message of the gospel of creation. All of created life is to be preserved and sustained. A creation missiology, therefore, re-orients mission so as to affirm life.

Secondly, the word of God created all forms of life, not only humanity. The proclamation of the creative word of God is meant for all life forms, for the entire creation. Put differently, mission as proclamation that is grounded in creation theology is cosmic in its reach and relevance. This challenges us to be organic and down to earth in our proclamation. Jesus Christ exemplified this when he conversed with the birds and the flowers, when he stilled the storm, and when he turned water into wine. St Francis of Assisi shared the word of God with non-human life, with sun, moon, stars, birds, plants and animals, whom he considered his kith and kin. Tagore also shared this organic vision when he wrote the following:
   I asked the plant

   To talk to me about God

   And it blossomed.


In the Indian epic, Shakuntalam, Kalidasa narrates the moving story of Shakuntala, who had to leave the ashram (monastery) of Kanva Muni. When she bids adieu to the ashram community, the entire environment of plants, creepers, birds and beasts mourn her departure. This is the eco-mind that missiology needs to incorporate into its thought and practice. If the divine purpose of creation is meant for human and non-human species, then, the ambit of God's salvific purpose also extends to the whole of creation (Rom. 8). God's mission is for all life, for the whole of cosmos. As A.P. Nirmal describes it, the telos of missio Dei is "God's Commonwealth of Ecosystems." (17) Mission as proclamation, therefore, ought to be creative, affirming life, and encompassing the entire creation. In such a cosmic mission, there is mutual indwelling of all forms of life. It is a mission grounded in trinitarian perichoresis. The Holy Trinity instructs us to behold and encounter God in creation. The eschatological community that a creation missiology envisages is a peaceable kingdom, as envisioned by prophet Isaiah: "The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid.... For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Is. 11; 6,9).

Mission as turning to God in creation

A creation missiology celebrates life in all its diversity as God's gift. The Creator God, who is also a missionary God, celebrates creation. Celebration of life, thus, is a mission act of God. Creation is the way God is present with us. God is present in the water, in the majesty of trees, in the beauty of meadows, in the sweetness of fruits, in the vigorous winds, and so on. The word earth occurs fifteen times in the Genesis account of creation. Earth enjoys a unique place in the divine purpose and will. As Samuel Rayan says, (18) the earth is God's daughter, and the creation accounts evoke in us the spirit of a birthday celebration. Earth is the medium through which the divinity addresses us. God, through the act of creation, affirms the intrinsic worth and purposefulness of all creation. God rejoices in the company of creation by pronouncing the verdict "good" after each act of creation. This categorical affirmation of the integrity of creation is a direct challenge to all dichotomous worldviews where spirit and matter, humanity and nature, male and female are located as binary opposites and organized hierarchically. In a missiological sense, this framework should also challenge the history-creation binary and integrate the concerns of both these realms, of history and nature, of the poor and earth ("the new poor") into an interwoven framework of creation missiology.

The creation account in Genesis 1 presents a God who is encountered in creation, a panenetheistic God. "The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters" (Gen. 1:1 [NIV]). God is not identified ontologically with the creation (pantheism), but is beheld and experienced in creation. According to Irenaeus, (19) God includes the fullness (pleroma) of all things. Nothing exists that is unrelated to God. The fathers have categorically affirmed that God, in order to save the creation, assumed human nature with its material matrix. All of this challenges the gnostic idea that matter is essentially evil and that the material world is only a shadow of the divine light. Matter and nature are fundamentally good and consecrated by God. Creation reflects the splendour, harmony and perfection that belong to God.

A panentheistic concept of God leads us to a missiology that is "turning to God in creation." Our endeavours to preserve life, our struggles for the rights to clean air, water and biodiversity, and for climate justice are our responsibility and missionary task to turn to a God who manifests herself in and through creation. While being present in creation, God also uses creation as her channel of grace and blessing. Water, which the Spirit of God was brooding over at the time of creation, is also sent as God's grace to people. In Ezekiel 47, during the Babylonian exile, God's grace and blessing flow as water into the temple of God. What begins as a small stream of water eventually becomes a huge ocean, a great sea. On the banks of this sea, trees for food and healing grow (Ezek. 47:12). This is a beautiful account where water becomes a channel of God's abundant grace and healing.

Humanity today finds itself in an environmental exile where rivers are being reduced to small streams, and where forests that include precious trees of healing are being converted into deserts. In this contemporary exile of environmental catastrophe, mission is about channeling God's grace and healing through creation. It is about turning streams into seas and deserts into forests again. This ecological mission is crucial when creation is in turmoil: our seas and oceans are being claimed and privatized by multi-national firms, and our forests are being cleared on a massive scale, to make way for development of the elite and the rich. What is happening today is quite the opposite of what Ezekiel had envisioned. Our mission is to reverse this destructive mode of development. This is also the eschatological vision found in the book of Revelation: "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God.... On either side of the river, is the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations" (Rev. 22:1-2).

Mission as the "earthing" of humanity

The J account of creation (Gen. 2: 4b-25) is full of profound ecological insights for a mission theology. Here, God creates humanity (adam) out of clay (adamah) (Gen. 2:7), signifying an original organic bond between humanity and earth. This narrative affirms the earthliness of humanity, which human beings have lost through their alienation from nature.

There are similar stories of creation among indigenous people, especially among tribal and Adivasi communities. Jyoti Sahi narrates one such creation myth that is prevalent among the Uraon tribe in Chota Nagpur in India. (20) In this story, the god Dharmis created the first human beings, both male and female, out of mud. Earth came out of a primordial earthworm. After forming the first human beings out of clay, Dharmis placed them under the sun to dry. But a horse appeared, ran over and ruined the first human beings. Thus, Dharmis had to create them again, but this time, Dharmis also created two dogs, to watch over and keep the horse from running over humanity.

According to Sahi, the horse is alien to the indigenous worldview and here represents the militant colonial forces. The horse represents the Aryans who came from outside and conquered the indigenous people and their cultures. The horse figured prominently in colonial mission approaches that enslaved Adivasi and tribal people and destroyed their cultures. This story not only refers to the essential bond between humanity and earth but also cautions us about the colonial forces, "the horse power" that still is at work. Hence, we need to have "watchdogs" to protect creation from being trampled upon by the aggressive forces of neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism. In this sense, mission is about being alert to the destructive, colonial forces and protecting life from the forces of death. To use the biblical creation language, mission is about tilling and keeping creation.

The J account of creation underscores the reality that humanity is an earthling. By exercising uncontrolled mastery over earth, humanity has alienated itself and thus lost its organic bond with earth. This is the root cause of ecological crisis today. Jesus christ reminds us of this loss of earthliness in humanity and the need to regain it, when he heals the blind man by applying mud onto his eyes (John 9). (21) This could be understood as God in Jesus Christ recreating humanity as an earthling as he was at the time of creation, being brought back to being one with nature, the state of original blessing.

This also speaks meaningfully to the current context where indigenous people of the soil are being alienated from their organic bond with nature through forceful displacement from their homelands in the name of "development." A creation missiology in this context offers a vision of mission as the quest for eco-justice. The social dimension of creation of humanity out of mud is also significant. Casteism as an institution in India thrives on the principle of pollution which is caused, among other factors, by human interaction with organic life. Contact with soil is deemed to be polluting in the caste framework. Dalits, most of whom are agricultural labourers, are constantly in touch with soil and mud and therefore considered a polluting class. The Creator God of the Bible, by creating humanity with her own hands, using mud, challenges the ideology of purity and pollution, itself associated with humans interacting with organic life, with mud and soil. The Creator God identifies with the Dalits and indigenous people who continue to suffer untouchability on account of their organic interaction with nature. A creation missiology in this sense is one which affirms the organic, ecological and earthly essence of humanity and affirms solidarity with the Dalits and indigenous people who are being discriminated against and alienated from their land and cultures. The J account of creation thus offers a mission paradigm where mission can be perceived as the "earthing" of humanity.

In sum, the creation-oriented missiology articulated here is meant to complement other missiologies, such as liberation missiology. It offers a wider framework that can combine concerns of justice and peace (liberation) with environmental justice (integrity of creation). It integrates the cry of the poor and the groaning of creation as part of the same struggle and thus presents mission as a quest for eco-justice. Creation missiology has the innate potential to challenge the colonial and expansionist models of mission. It also expands the mission horizon to embrace the entire creation. It makes missiology a "down to earth" affair, rooted in the earthliness of all creation, including humanity. It overcomes the artificial dichotomy between words and deeds, between proclamation and praxis. It corrects the dominant anthropocentric perspectives in mission thinking and praxis and instead provides a re-orientation towards fullness of life. It enables us to behold and experience the missionary God in the Creator God who is encountered in creation. Mission, then, is to turn to God in creation.

(1) The title of this article is a paraphrased version of the appeal of the Granvollen conference (Norway, 1988) of the World Council of Churches: "for the sake of all creation, theology must begin with creation."

(2) Quoted in Cry of the Environment: Rebuilding the Christian Creation Tradition, Philip N. Joranson and Ken Butigan (eds), Bear and Company, New Mexico (1984). p. 9.

(3) See Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, "Creation in Ecumenical Theology" in Ecotheology: Voices from South and North, David G. Hallman (ed.), WCC, Geneva (1994), pp. 96-106, for a detailed discussion of WCC engagement with the themes of justice, peace and integrity of creation.

(4) The seventh affirmation of the Seoul convocation declared, "We affirm the creation as the beloved of God". For a detailed discussion on the Seoul Convocation, see Preman Niles (ed.), Between the Flood and the Rainbow, WCC, Geneva (1992).

(5) Roger Williamson, "What God has joined together, Let No One Put Asunder" in Preman Niles, p. 86.

(6) Quoted in Bernhard W. Anderson, "Creation in the Bible" in Cry of the Environment, p. 24.

(7) Ibid.

(8) Ibid, p. 26.

(9) M.P. Joseph in George Mathew Nalunnakkal (ed.), Re-routing Mission: Towards a People's Concept of Mission, CSS, Tiruvalla (2004), pp. 8-9.

(10) "And God blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth'" (Gen 1:28, emphases mine).

(11) For a detailed discussion on "kenotic anthropocentrism," see my Green Liberation, ISPCK, New Delhi (2000).

(12) K.M. George, "The Self Emptying Image" in K.M. George and KJ. Gabriel, eds, Towards a New Humanity, ISPCK, New Delhi (1992), p. 115.

(13) K.M. George, "The Orthodox Tradition and Transfigurative Ethics: Reflections on the Ninth Assembly Theme" in Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (ed.), Grace in Abundance: Orthodox reflections on the Way to Porto Alegre, WCC, Geneva (2005), p. 59.

(14) Ibid.

(15) Paulos Mar Gregorios, The Human Presence: An Orthodox View of Nature, CLS, Madras (1980), pp. 82-89.

(16) Bernhard W. Anderson in Cry of the Environment, p. 29.

(17) A.P. Nirmal, "Ecology, Ecumenics and Economy in Relation: A New Theological Paradigm" in Daniel C. Chetti (ed.), Ecology and Development Theological Perspectives, Gurukul/BTESSC, Madras (1991), p. 27.

(18) Samuel Rayan, S.J., "The Earth is the Lord's," in Hallman, p. 131.

(19) Michael Northcott, The Environment and Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press (1996), pp. 207-208.

(20) A.P. Nirmal, pp. 145-148.

(21) For a detailed exposition of John 9 from an ecological perspective, see my article "Mission: An Ecological Perspective" in Mission Paradigm in the New Millennium, Milton Jeganathan (ed), ISPCK, New Delhi (2000), pp. 317-329.

Geevarghese Mor Coorilos is Metropolitan of the Niranam diocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India. He also serves the World Council of Churches as moderator of its Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) and as chairperson of the Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI).
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Author:Coorilos, Metropolitan Geevarghese Mor
Publication:International Review of Mission
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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