An Anglican Approach to Public Affairs in a Global Context

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In this paper the human impact on life on our planet is viewed and assessed theologically from within an Anglican theological perspective. That perspective builds on a recognition of the world as God's creation in the light of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and an approach to reading Scripture in the context of worship that acknowledges a progressive revelation of God in an ever new and changing world. Anglican theology has traditionally recognized its concern, not only for the life of the church, but also for life in the world at large. While local contexts remain important for the way theological reflexion is undertaken, the really big issues today are global, and concern the threat posed by humans to all life on Earth. They concern habitat destruction, the pollution of land, air, fresh water and sea, and climate change. These issues are exacerbated by poverty, racism, and the unjust use of power by the rich and powerful against the poor and weak. In all of this, humans constitute a threat to the survival of all life on Earth, and at the same time bear the responsibility to find a way to affirm life for all in the face of the threat of death. For our time a broadly based ecological hermeneutic is crucial to take account of all these issues, which impact on us specifically and in different ways wherever we happen to be. Thus these issues need to be dealt with locally, but with a global strategy. Urgent action is called for on all fronts, not only out of self-interest, but also arising from a theological vision of God and the world embedded in an Anglican theological tradition. That is not to deny this vision to others, but to name the source of the vision that has shaped this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-31
Number of pages23
JournalSt. Mark's review: A journal of Christian thought and opinion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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