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Conference calls for ecological reformation of Christianity

07 April 2016

“An ecological reformation of Christianity is a matter of repentance, conversion and renewal for all Christian traditions,” reads the Volos Call,” a statement issued after a meeting of church representatives from different traditions and all continents, held in Greece, between 10-13 March.

Gathering at the Academy of Volos for the international conference on Eco-Theology, Climate Justice and Food Security, participants stressed the concern that “an ecological reformation of Christianity (in all its traditions) is possible, but can remain authentic only if it stays in the Spirit and is expressed in the form of a humble prayer: Veni, Creator Spiritus! Come, Holy Spirit, renew your whole creation!”

According to the statement, an ecological reformation of Christianity “implies a twofold critique, namely both a deeper Christian critique of the root causes of ecological destruction and an ecological critique of forms of Christianity which have not recognized the ecological dimensions of the Gospel.”

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the text states, is an occasion to think about what is demanded from an “ecclesia semper reformanda” in giving witness to what the triune God is doing in the world today.

“At the beginning of the 21st century, it is nevertheless clear that many Christian communities all over the world have discerned the need for an ecological reformation of each Christian tradition in every geographical context,” reads the statement, which also highlights examples of “eco-congregations” or “green churches” as an expression of a wide range of environmental concerns.

The Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN in New York 2015, is a binding commitment for a substantial transformation of the current development paradigm and refers to key issues that are widely discussed in Christian churches.

Among other recommendations, the document urged “all participants in the Reformation Jubilee 2017 and their representing churches to be open to listen to the cries of suffering creation at the peripheries as well as in the centres of our planet and to recommit to mutual learning and ecumenical partnerships for empowering a younger generation of leaders in the area of eco-theology, climate justice and food security.

Read the full text of the Volos Call

The collection of ETCF documents at Globethics.net

Theology and climate change focus of consultation (WCC news release from 16 March 2016)

WCC’s programmatic work on care for creation and climate change

European Reformation Roadmap launch, Celebrating 500 years of reformation