The Call to Ecological Conversion

June 2, 2016

Ecological conversion, eco-spirituality, eco-theology - what do they all mean and why should we care?

On a rainy night in Naremburn recently, Sydney Grail member, Tricia Gemmell,  spoke of the urgent need for ecological conversion - of the  need to heed the many voices --  scientific and theological -- that over the past 150 years have been calling for a radically different relationship between humankind and all creation.     Eco-spirituality, she explained, was "the intentional practices we employ in order to achieve that shift in consciousness required for ecological conversion".

Christian theology, she noted, had a "moral responsibility to make amends for a past that has not served the earth well".   To this end, the recent works of Denis Edwards, Diarmuid O'Murchu, Ilia Delio, Elizabeth Johnson, Sallie McFague and Pope Francis in his encyclical, 'Laudato Si', are contributing to new eco-theological insights that are helping to shape the new consciousness that must precede ecological conversion.

Terese Sheridan, who attended on the night, said that despite our failures to act in the past, she was heartened to hear of initiatives happening now in the wider community. "I left feeling very challenged but uplifted too that the desperately  needed awareness of our earth and God, and of our own conversion is very much alive".

Yangrae  Son, minister at Northbridge-Castlecrag Uniting Church, appreciated the opportunity to hear a Christian response to the ecological concerns. "You made your audience proud of our Christian heritage and theology, which has provided us with wisdom and theoretical paradigms to take care of God's creation."

The full text of Tricia's talk can be found on the Publications page, including references to the above writers, as well as earlier works by theologians Thomas Berry and Paul Collins.