Leadership and Spiritual Resources in the Anthropocene: Some Practical Theological Reflections

  • Ian Nell Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Faith communities, Anthropocene, Spiritual formation, Climate narrative, Shared values, Shared symbols


Faith communities are found all over the world as spaces where people find a spiritual home and where spiritual formation takes place. For this contribution, the research question is: In what ways can the leadership in faith communities contribute towards spiritual resources for their members in the time of the Anthropocene? Faith communities are spaces where three resources (a shared narrative about climate change, shared values and shared symbols and practices) interact and where each of these can also make a unique contribution to raising awareness of ownership and space in the time of the Anthropocene. If the Anthropocene is considered as the period in which human activities have the dominant influence on the climate and the environment, these three resources offer important contributions for a greater awareness of humans’ influence on the climate and the environment. The congregational leader as spiritual guide in the modes of storyteller, moral compass and symbolic worker can play a significant role in the process of mobilising people of faith in becoming involved in their environment and climate mobilisation.


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