Living on the Land

Ecotheology in Rural New Zealand


  • Robyn McPhail



New Zealand, genetic modification, ecotheology


Do we, in the churches in New Zealand, have any ecotheology? The presenter draws on experience in rural church and community, noting changes since the mid twentieth century and exploring issues of theory versus practice and secular versus religious. Some anecdotal evidence for incipient ecotheology is offered, with reference to perceptions of relationship with the land, and popular theology in Bible texts and hymns. The aim is to counter claims that New Zealand agriculture is devoid of ecotheological foundation, but also to affirm the positive in actual thought and practice of rural people and raise questions about what is still missing. Case studies—sustainable logging, the dairy mega-merger and genetic modification—set the scene for a gospel commission for Church and academy to spread our ecotheological vision. The presentation culminates with the point and purpose of all faith and practice—indeed the crown of creation itself—the sabbath.






How to Cite

McPhail, R. (2001). Living on the Land: Ecotheology in Rural New Zealand. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 6(2), 138-151.