Theological and Anthropological Consequences of Environmental Damage. An African reflects

Wilfred Sumani, SJ

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“We cannot fully know ourselves without first knowing the nature of all living creatures,” wrote Ambrose of Milan in the fourth century.[1] Three centuries earlier, Paul had drawn a line from creation to the Creator: “Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made” (Rom 1:20). If we put these two affirmations together, we can surmise that creation mediates both knowledge of ourselves and knowledge of God. This essay argues that environmental degradation, especially the extinction of species, leads to the impoverishment of both the theological and moral imagination.

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