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Welcome to The Earth in God’s economy

The provocative title of this project in the Department of Religion and Theology is not quite a theological take-over bid regarding the Johannesburg stock exchange! “God’s economy” is a traditional theological term for the whole of God’s work in God’s household (derived from the Greek word oikos).

 

 The Earth in God’s economy

 

The provocative title of this project in the Department of Religion and Theology is not quite a theological take-over bid regarding the Johannesburg stock exchange! “God’s economy” is a traditional theological term for the whole of God’s work in God’s household (derived from the Greek word oikos). The relationship between two aspects of a Christian understanding God’s work is investigated in this project, namely creation and salvation. The question is how full justice can be done to both creation and salvation. A theological understanding of this relationship is distorted in several contexts. In ecological theology the question is how God’s work of creation is related to activist efforts to “save the earth”. In African theology, the underlying problem is expressed in Mercy Amba Oduyoye’s profound question: “Is the God of our redemption the same God of our creation?” This problem also underlies discourse on apartheid theology (essentially a form of creation theology) and the critique against it (focusing on alternative notions of salvation). It also troubles theological discourse on homosexuality, HIV and AIDS, culture and the state.

This project is led by Ernst Conradie. The theme was addressed in his inaugural lecture in 2007. Since then it has led to two volumes of articles on South African theologians and their conversation partners (in Scriptura, 2008), two volumes of articles on the Christian notion of “salvation” (in Worldviews, 2010), an edited volume entitled Creation and Salvation: Dialogue on Abraham Kuyper’s Legacy for Contemporary Ecotheology (Brill, 2011) and a monograph on divine action entitled Lewend en Kragtig? In gesprek oor God se handelinge in die wêreld (Bible Media 2010).Two further edited volumes on the same theme are currently in progress. The one was published as Creation and salvation: A Mosaic of essays on selected classic Christian theologies (LIT Verlag, 2011), with 10 essays by senior scholars from four continents. The other volume, to be entitled Creation and salvation: A medley of essays on recent theological movements is nearing completion. Some 54 scholars from 24 countries of origin and six continents, including Ernst Conradie, Christo Lombard, Hans Engdahl and Douglas Lawrie from UWC, contributed to this volume. Ernst Conradiehas also completed a monograph entitled Saving the Earth? The Legacy of Reformed Views on Re-creation (submitted for publication with LIT Verlag) and will now commence with a constructive contribution on the theme of the project: The Earth in God’s economy.

 

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