Islamic Garden

Islamic Garden
Islamic Garden in Lausanne, Switzerland

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics

Norman Habel, Professorial Fellow in Biblical Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, has been the driving force behind introducing an ecological hermeneutic to scripture, which resulted in an Earth Bible. As the editor, he identifies six principles in a publication by the Society of Biblical Literature, entitled "Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics" which could well inspire a profoundly ecological exegesis of al-Fatiha. Perhaps we can imagine those who have earned the Displeasure of Allah or those who have gone astray, in a very different way. These six principles

"were refined in consultations and workshops concerned with ecology in general, and ecological concerns linked to theology and the Bible more specifically.

1. The principle of intrinsic worth: The universe, Earth and all its components have intrinsic worth/value.

2. The principle of interconnectedness: Earth is a community of interconnected living things that are mutually dependent on each other for life and survival.

3. The principle of voice: Earth is a subject capable of raising its voice in celebration and against injustice.

4. The principle of purpose: The universe, Earth and all its components are part of a dynamic cosmic design within which each piece has a place in the overall goal of that design.

5. The principle of mutual custodianship: Earth is a balanced and diverse domain where responsible custodians can function as partners with, rather than rulers over, Earth to sustain its balance and a diverse Earth community.

6. The principle of resistance: Earth and its components not only suffer from human injustices but actively resist them in the struggle for justice.

The writers of the Earth Bible project explored a given biblical passage focusing on one or more of the ecojustice principles enunciated above. The five volumes in that series provided the basis for the development of an ecological hermeneutic for reading the Scriptures and interpretative traditions. (2008, p. 2).

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