Eschatological Hope and Ecological Justice


  • Ian Barns



eschatology, Lynn White


Ever since the publication of Lynn White’s essay criticizing Christianity as a primary source of the current environmental crisis there has been much theological debate about the ‘green credentials’ of Christianity. Within this rich and varied literature I believe that the most fruitful orthodox response has been to recover the doctrine of creation as an integral part of the story of salvation. That is to say, the doc-trine of creation is not just as an account of origins antecedent to the drama of sin and redemption, of a beginning which is subsequently disfigured, such that the present creation is doomed to be destroyed at the final coming of the heavenly kingdom. In an orthodox theology of creation, the created order is understood instead as having an eschatological openness towards its ultimate perfection in the kingdom of God. In the accounts of creation developed by Moltmann, Gunton, Zizioulas et al., the being and purpose of the created order is grounded in the trinitarian love of God. Furthermore, the rich diversity, temporality and particularity we find in creation represents not mere ‘noise’ but an expression of God’s fecundity and generosity in the economy of eschatological hope.



How to Cite

Barns, I. (1998). Eschatological Hope and Ecological Justice. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 3(2).