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Anglican Evangelical Journal for Theology and Mission

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Hope And The Environment: A Perspective From The Majority World

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
Published Online: 2013-09-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/anv-2013-0005


This paper considers hope and environment from a majority world perspective. It begins by surveying moves within the Anglican Church to become more environmentally aware, and to integrate environmental concerns into theology and practice. This process began at the Lambeth Conference in 1968 and eventually led to the inclusion of an environmental strand within the Anglican Communion’s ‘Five Marks of Mission’. The fifth Mark is ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’ In the 2008 Lambeth Conference a whole section was devoted to the environment. There follow accounts of environmental work in the Province of Southern Africa. In Niassa Diocese, in northern Mozambique, the mission department has been using Umoja (from the Swahili word for having a common mind) in congregational and community development. It demonstrates holistic mission by deepening faith, building community, and helping with practical challenges. Now the bigger question facing Southern Africa and the majority world is climate change. In South Africa apartheid used to dominate everything and this led to unity in the Church, but after apartheid the country is not faced by one overarching problem, but many. The theology of Charles Mathewes is explored in an attempt to find an adequate Christian response and bring hope to this new context. This then leads on to action in both small practical ways, and in bringing about more fundamental change. Finally, we are reminded that we should not always speak about problems, but also to present a positive vision.

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About the article

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba has been Archbishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa since the beginning of 2008. He served on the Design Group for the 2008 Lambeth Conference, is a member of the Anglican Consultative Council, and chairs the Anglican Communion Environmental Network. He has a PhD from the University of Cape Town in work-place spirituality.

Published Online: 2013-09-05

Published in Print: 2013-09-01

Citation Information: ANVIL, Volume 29, Issue 1, Pages 55–70, ISSN (Print) 0969-7373, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/anv-2013-0005.

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