Saint Augustine and the Ecosystem: Summa Creatio
The topic of ecosystem is a compelling but complex concept. This paper therefore aims to suggest that Augustine’s voice requires greater hearing in the current debates on ecology. Even though, regardless of his fame as one of the most important figures in Western theology, Augustine is not famous in current theological conversations on ecological issues. He made four distinct efforts to lay out a clear and coherent interpretation of Genesis 1. His first attempt was his allegorical interpretation in his work On Genesis against the Manichaeans (389 A.D.), next, he made an unsatisfactory effort to give a literal interpretation in his Letter of Genesis: Unfinished Book, written in 393 A.D. but was later published with some revisions in 426. To complement his earlier effort, he later expressed his views at a greater length in his new task The Letter of Genesis (401-415 A.D.), between 413-427 A.D. he summarized all his previous works with some adjustments in The City of God. There might not be direct argument against the possible misrepresentation of submissions by some contemporary theologians who have solid ecological concern in this paper, however, it will surely provide a flipside interpretation of Augustine that will possibly shed positive light on classical doctrines which can help promote the so-called “ecological conversion” today.
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