Theology and Sustainability in Oil-Producing Norway

in Nature and Culture
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This article attempts to draft the constructive role religion can play in a rich, oil-producing Western country. The article presents a brief history of environmental commitment within the Church of Norway, and shows how this commitment is making an impact both theologically and politically. Theologically, the result is a reorientation of classic, anthropocentric theology toward a more biocentric theology in which all of creation is viewed as equally important. As a concretization of such a theology, this article looks to the circle of life advocated by the Sami theologian Tore Johnsen. Bridging theology and politics, this article also presents the commitment of Bishop Tor Berger Jørgensen in the political debate about oil exploration in certain areas off the coast of his diocese. Jørgensen's commitment and Johnsen's work are examples of how Christian churches can address the global ecological crisis using their best tool: theology.

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