Care for the Earth as Our Mission: Interpreting Eco-narratives

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Jijimon Alakkalam Joseph

Abstract

As a religious missionary society, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) helps the Catholic Church fulfill its missionary task in various ways, responding to the signs of the times and the needs of each place the mission is stationed. However, until recently, we have not sufficiently committed to environmental protection in our missionary endeavors. We must slowly prioritize care for the earth as an essential dimension of our mission today. In the postmodern world, (mini) narratives play a central role. Hence interpreting the eco-narratives of various religious traditions becomes crucial for the ‘care for the earth’ mission. Today, many consider environmental protection an interreligious project because no one religious tradition has a privileged ecological perspective. Eco-narratives of different religious and spiritual traditions need to interact and engage dialogue to make lasting contributions to environmental protection. We must find appropriate tools to interpret the eco-narratives. This paper suggests that the hermeneutic phenomenology of Paul Ricoeur can be one of the best tools to do so.

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