Native peoples in the Americas understand the universe as alive and sentient. All phenomena in it are understood to be a distinct expression of life force, or spirit. Since all persons – human and other-than-human – such as plants, animals, rivers, winds, and mountains are expressions of spirit, they are understood to be interconnected and contingent.
While not often recognized as political theology proper, environmental justice movements have for decades been sites of normative creativity. Sometimes overlooked as conventional rights-based complaints against locally unwanted land uses, these movements have in fact depicted ecologies of white supremacy while deploying rights, sacralizing land, and reimagining the human in ways that would utterly reconstruct the basis of politics.
When did the discourse on climate change begin? How was it related to colonialism? And in what way did it serve political objectives in Israel/Palestine throughout the 20th century?
These restrictions must take into careful consideration the historicity of each religious tradition, the social influence of religious beliefs among its citizens, but also theological and exegetical specificities that influence the tradition’s adaptability to the current emergency. Without such thoughtful considerations and a close collaboration with trusted religious authorities, religious communities could be alienated, which can be disruptive in times that require rather unity of thought and action.
…seeing these responses through a Niebuhrian lens challenges me to acknowledge these actions for what they are—reactions to anxiety—and to confront what it is that I am actually afraid of and trying to avoid—facing the fragility of life and love.
Populism seems to have at least these advantages: it privileges practical reasoning over theoretical; it binds us to place; it recognizes modernity’s political gains; it does not posit reactionary declension narratives; it affirms “common folk;” it avoids elitism…It also gave us President Trump.