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The World House: Prophetic Protestantism and the Struggle for Environmental Justice

Heltzel, Peter Goodwin

Though much has been rightly made of the destruction wrought by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010, it pales in comparison to the ongoing damage done to the environment by our unsustainable way of life. Global instability exacerbated by the economic crisis of 2008 to the present has compounded increasing ecological vulnerabilities, including the most basic needs of food and water among the world’s poorest. Because of these combined crises, it is vital that people of faith develop methods of collaboration that support and enrich each others' efforts towards sustainability sooner rather than later. Given the extent and magnitude of our economic and environmental problems, it is time for evangelicals and liberal Protestants to work together for the ecological good. Protestantism has been a religious movement for great good, but also the source of deep divisions. Born through a division with the Roman Catholic Church, Protestantism, in its engagement with modernity, forced a further division into evangelical and liberal communities. Now the urgent need to preserve and regenerate the global environment offers an ideal opportunity to work towards the repair of these older theological divisions through joining together in the common task of environment justice. In seeking to repair the earth as a common ethical task, Protestants can also enact an ecumenical vocation to heal the divisions within the broader world Christian movement.

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Union Seminary Quarterly Review

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Union Theological Seminary
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September 10, 2015
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