Understanding the nature of relationship is the core of the emerging ecological theology. Basically, relationality may be viewed from two interrelated dimensions:horizontal and vertical. The former points to creatures’ relationship with fellow creatures—as in the case of the relationship between human and non-human creatures; the latter refers to the Creator and creature relationship. This paper focuses on the vertical relationship—God’s relationship with creation. Using Leonardo Boff as dialogue partner, relationality is understood in the language of ecological theology. His appropriation of the theological concept of “panentheism” to explain the God-creation relationship is extremely helpful in this regard. Furthermore, Boff conceived the Patristic metaphor of “perichoresis” in a new way in that he used it to explain not only the inner-life of the trinitarian relationship but also the profound relationship that exists between Trinity and creation. This new way of conceiving the vertical relationship leads to an ecological perspective on the mystery of Incarnation and the indwelling of the Spirit in creation. The joint mission of the Son and Spirit is seen from an ecological perspective on God’s relation to creation.
Understanding God's Relation to Creation Based on the Ecological Theology of Leonardo Boff
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