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Environmentalism of the poor and the political ecology of prophecy: a contribution to liberation ecotheology

Scandrett, Eurig (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Ecological theology has too often relied on Creation, Sabbatical and other accounts potentially of Priestly origin, or else has employed a hermeneutic of suspicion derived from ecocentric speculative philosophy. These approaches risk the error of reflecting current or biblical ruling class ideologies. It is argued here that a more appropriate approach to ecological theology is the prophetic tradition read from the critical materialism of political ecology. The relationship between society and environment is both socially constructed and material and political ecology uses dialectical materialist methodology in interpreting this. Such analysis emerges from, and contributes to, a preferential option for the victims of environmental injustices, and a political praxis of environmentalism of the poor alongside environmental justice struggles. The starting point of this theology of liberation is the author’s context as an activist in, and action researcher with, environmental justice movements. Three contrasting case studies are interrogated with respect to this theology: environmental justice campaigns associated with Friends of the Earth Scotland; the Bhopal survivors’ movement; and a working group on environmental justice within the Iona Community. Insights are derived from this praxis which make a contribution to historic projects which are neither reformist nor utopian but radically prophetic.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Walker, Paul and Grenfell, James
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:HC Economic History and Conditions
GE Environmental Sciences
BL Religion
BT Doctrinal Theology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:869
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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