The Groaning Earth and the Greening of Neo-Pentecostalism in the 21st Century Ghana
Keywords:Ghana’s neo-Pentecostals, neo-Pentecostal environmentalism, environmental challenges, groaning earth, mission of reconciliation, environmental mission
From the angle of theology of mission it is imperative for the Christian faith to respond to the complex environmental challenges facing Africa. In this article, I explore the attitudes and responses of Ghana’s Charismatic churches, as a case study of neo-Pentecostal responses to Ghana’s environmental challenges. I further explore some theological and ethical imperatives that require neo-Pentecostals to integrate environmental protection into their missions agenda in today’s Ghana, in order to become environmentally friendly, as their “mission of reconciliation” requires of them. I argue that, as required by their theology of mission, Ghana’s neo-Pentecostals must reconcile with the earth and “be of the earth” through a re-interpretation of their “mission of reconciliation”. Source data for this work are both secondary and primary, utilizing both participant observation and analysis of interviews with selected neo-Pentecostal members and leaders in Ghana.
Anderson, A. 2008. “African Independent Churches and Pentecostalism: Historical Connections and Common Identities”. Ogbomoso Journal of Theology 13.1: 22–42.
Attfield, R. 1991. The Ethics of Environmental Concern, 2nd edn. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
—. 2003. Environmental Ethics: An Overview for the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Baeta, C. 1968. “Introductory Review: Facts and Problems”. In C. Baeta (ed.), Christianity in Tropical Africa. London: Oxford University Press: 3–17.
Bookless, D. 2008. “To Strive to Safeguard the Integrity of Creation and Sustain and Renew the Life of the Earth (II)”. In Walls and Ross, 2008: 94–104.
Conradie, E.M. 2011. “The Church and the Environment: Seven Stations Towards the Sanctification of the Whole Earth”. Paper presented at The Church and the Environment, conference held at Baptist University College, Kumasi, Ghana, 26–30 April.
Conserve Africa. 2010. “Poverty and Environment in Africa: An Overview”. Available at www.conserveafrica.org.uk/poverty-and-environment-in-africa-an-overview (accessed 25 July 2010).
Fedler, K. 2006. Exploring Christian Ethics. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
Ghana Statistical Service. 2012. 2010 Population and Housing Census: Summary Report of Final Results. Accra: Ghana Statistical Service.
GhanaWeb. 2011. “Biblical Scholars Confer to Tackle Ecology”. GhanaWeb, 19 January. Available at www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/religion/artikel.php?ID=201534 (accessed 18 April 2011).
Gifford, P. 1998. African Christianity: Its Public Role. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Golo, B.W.K. 2006. Towards an African Earth Theology of Liberation: A Study of Deforestation in Ghana in a Globalized World. PhD thesis, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.
—. 2013. “Africa’s Poverty and Its Neo-Pentecostal ‘Liberators’: An Ecotheological Assessment of Africa’s Prosperity Gospellers”. Pneuma 35: 366–84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15700747-12341366
Hill, B.R. 1998. Christian Faith and the Environment: Making Vital Connections. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
Kirk, A. J. 2000. What is Mission? Theological Explorations. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press.
Larbi, E.K. 2001. Pentecostalism: The Eddies of Ghanaian Christianity. Accra: Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies.
Lundgren, K. 2012. The Global Impact of E-waste: Addressing the Challenge. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
Mante, J.O.Y. 2004. Africa: The Theological and Philosophical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis. Accra: Sonlife Press.
McFague, S. 1993. The Body of God: An Ecological Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press.
—. 2001. Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press.
Modern Ghana. 2008. “Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese Embarks on Environmental Education Programme in Upper East”. Modern Ghana, 14 July. Available at www. modernghana.com/news/174303/1/navrongo-bolgatanga-diocese-embarks-onenvironment.html (accessed 15 April 2011).
Oduyoye, M.A. 2004. Beads and Strands: Reflections of an African Woman on Christianity in Africa. New York: Orbis Books.
Ojo, M.A. 2008. “The Growth of Charismatic Movements in Northern Nigeria”. Ogbomoso Journal of Theology 13.2: 83–121.
Omenyo, C.N. 2008. “‘The Spirit-Filled Goes to School’: Theological Education in African Pentecostalism”. Ogbomoso Journal of Theology 13.2: 41–57.
Oteng-Ababio, M. 2012. “When Necessity Begets Ingenuity: E-waste Scavenging as Livelihood Strategy in Accra, Ghana”. African Studies Quarterly 13.1–2: 1–21.
Ott, C, Strauss S.J and Tennent, T.C. 2010. Encountering a Theology of Mission: Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments and Contemporary Issues. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Pillay, M.N. 2011. “The Church and the Environment: On Being Down to Earth in a Consumerist Era”. Paper presented at The Church and the Environment, conference held at Baptist University College, Kumasi, Ghana, 26–30 April.
Pui-lan, K. 1994. “Ecology and the Recycling of Christianity” In D.G. Hallman (ed.), Ecotheology: Voices from South and North. Geneva: World Council of Churches: 107–11.
Snyder, H. and J. Scandrett. 2011. Salvation Means Creation Healed: The Ecology of Sin and Grace: Overcoming the Divorce Between Earth and Heaven. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.
Steuernagel, V.R. 2008. “To Seek to Transform Unjust Structures of Society (I)” In Walls and Ross, 2008: 62–76.
Studebaker, S.M. 2008. “The Spirit in Creation: A Unified Theology of Grace and Creation Care”. Zygon 43.4: 943–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2008.00970.x
Swodoba, A.J. 2011. “Tongues of Trees: Towards a Green Pentecostal Pneumatology”. PhD thesis, Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
UNEP. 1997. Global Environmental Outlook 1. Global State on the Environment Report 1997. New York: Oxford University Press.
Walls, A. and C. Ross (eds). 2008. Mission in the 21st Century: Exploring the Five Marks of Global Mission. London: Darton, Longman & Todd.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.