Abundant Community Theology: update

On March 27, Tearfund launched Abundant Community Theology. This 90-min webinar celebrated the conclusion of a research project on environmental and economic sustainability. 

Maria Ale Andrade V and Clark Buys began by presenting Tearfund’s Abundant Community Theology (ACT). They talked about cultivating an abundant community mindset over that of a scarcity mindset: this prioritizes relationship over individual identity, a shared home over competitive market, generosity over greed, and better distribution over more production solutions.

Prof. Must Dube followed this presentation with a critical reflection on ACT. She highlighted the importance of contextual theology with concern for the communities included and excluded within our conversation. She raised the need for decolonized theology and mentioned that ‘…a spirit of inclusion does not mean a spirit of equality’. She also emphasised the importance of lament with God and God’s creation for ‘…naming oppression, calling for change and justice for earth’. She ended by reminding us that the good news extends to all creation and underscored the transformative nature of salvation.

Dave Bookless offered an overview of creation care theology trends. He first began by highlighting how early creation care theology existed among Desert Fathers, Coptic Christians, Celtic Christians, and even early evangelicals. He discussed how a great reversal took place when a fear of science, liberal theology and ‘social gospel’ concerns emerged. Integral Mission was rediscovered through the aid of theologians such as René Padilla, Samuel Escobar, and John Stott. Currently, we are witnessing a rise of eco-theologies, including liberation theologies, interfaith theologies and post-colonial and indigenous theologies. Finally, he named a few future trends including:

a) rethinking ‘stewardship’
b) questioning ‘anthropocentrism’
c) cultivating theologies of lament, loss and hope
d) exploring intersectionality of ecotheology among other issues like gender, decolonization, and so on.

A link to the recording of this webinar will be shared in the next Pollinator.

Paper: Abundant Community Theology – Buys & Andrade V. (2023). Abundant Community Theology: A Case Study in Decolonial Theological Research. Christian Relief, Development, and Advocacy 5(1), Summer2023.

Video: Tearfund – Enough for All