THE CHURCH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: ON BEING DOWN TO EARTH IN A CONSUMERIST ERA

Miranda N. Pillay

Abstract


Based on the premise that both anthropocentricism (humans over the environment) and
patriarchy (men over women and children) operate as hierarchies to oppress and subjugate
‘others’, this article makes a connection between patriarchy and prosperity preaching by
arguing that in both instances, biblical texts are used to ‘sanctify’ and sustain hierarchies
of power. In order to develop my argument as it relates to hierarchical power, I engage
insights gained from Feminist theology. Two case studies are presented as examples from
popular current religious/ spiritual movements to illustrate how a hierarchy of power
‘presents itself’ as ‘naturally right’. I then explore the relationship between prosperity
preaching and consumerism, and between BRICS2 and consumerism, respectively. Finally,
an argument is made for the church to take seriously the fact that hierarchies such as
patriarchy and anthropocentrism are made ‘palatable’ by a theology of prosperity - by
exploring theologies that will bring Christians ‘down to earth’.

Keywords


Environment; Consumerism; Power Hierarchies; Feminist Theology; Prosperity Teaching/Preaching

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/107-0-135

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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