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Authors

Chad Rimmer

Abstract

This paper will sketch theoretical synergies between sustainability discourse and a Christian ecotheological approach to religious education, and point to pedagogical possibilities for bridging the two disciplines. Theology and natural science operate with certain anthropological assumptions. Those underlying anthropologies inform the teaching methods of environmental and religious education. Anthropologies that conceive of human being outside of ecological relationships are a root problem of our current ecological crisis. Many economic, political and social discourses colonize people from the land, particularly children, exacerbating the root causes of sustainability. This paper affirms that linking sustainability discourse and religious education is a way to decolonize education and reintegrate our self-understanding within sustainable, transformative, ecological relationships. Pedagogical methods that keep this goal in mind promote pro-social and sustainable learning. Linking these practices to ecotheological concepts such as the Sabbath or within liturgical context of faith communities affirms the interdisciplinary wisdom of sustainability. The paper concludes with examples of place based ecotheological formation in Muslim, Jewish, Christian and interfaith contexts.

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