Earthly Christianity: Bonhoeffer’s contribution to ecotheology and ecoethics

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Bonhoeffer’s ‘unfinished symphony’of theology is rich for exploration, creative extension, and application. Accordingly, this paper considers Bonhoeffer’s notion of ‘worldly Christianity’ (his theorising of what Christianity might be in the post war age) in the context of the new age, the Anthropocene (the present geological epoch determined by human intervention). It describes how Bonhoeffer’s Christological theology might contribute to contemporary ecotheological and ecoethical concerns. Bonhoeffer’s worldly Christianity becomes, in this age, more appropriately described as ‘Earthly Christianity’and humans as Homo cosmicos–both belonging to the world and being a responsible citizen of it. Relational ‘Earthly Christianity’drives an ecoethic of responsibility and sacrifice that recognises the new context–two components of ethics that Bonhoeffer articulated as Stellvertretung and Sachgemäßheit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
JournalThe Bonhoeffer Legacy: An International Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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