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Abstract

In our trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper discusses current environmental concerns in light of critical questions about the relationship between God and Mother Earth. This paper addresses this question in an inter-religious context. In order to fulfil its original duty of inculcating spirituality, faith can build a bridge between God and people on a constructive understanding of the Earth. To this end, Christianity and Islam offer notions of divine grace and divine lutf to do this duty. In this paper, I examine two inspiring sources: the Islamic motto of Basmalah, and Luther’s commentary on the Ten Commandments in The Large Catechism. These are core to understanding the holy texts of Islam and Lutheran Christianity, both as theological subject matters for imams and pastors and as guides for the daily spiritual practices of ordinary people. This comparative study uses both textual and conceptual analysis to develop inter-faith cooperation and dialogue, and to bring the faithful closer together. The paper beings with an explanation of the spiritual aspects of Basmalah, its connection with divine nature and names, and the most important names of God in order to introduce how divine mercifulness (al-Rahman) suggests an eco-theology honoring the Earth. Then, I discuss Luther’s The Large Catechism focusing on the Ten Commandment as the spirit of that book. I demonstrate how Luther’s explanation relates to Islamic ideas of Basmalah. I ponder Luther’s text and his description of each of the Ten Commandments separately to shed light on an eco-friendly theology. Finally, the study concludes by examining how the Basmalah and Luther’s Catechism pave the path to develop inter-religious dialogue and promote eco-theology by offering harmony between their particular visions and universal values. This nature-friendly theology concentrates on humanity as the image of God in Christianity and the representative of God in Islam.

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