In God We Trust? Coming to terms with the shift to the so-called “anthropocene”.

How does one even begin to make sense of this given the shift from the Holocene to the “Anthropocene”?
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The advent of the “Anthropocene” is much discussed and highly contested amidst the climate change, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, viral pandemics and a rapid loss of biodiversity that are there for all to see. According to the Anthropocene Working Group of International Commission on Stratigraphy, the “Anthropocene” can be dated at least to the mid-20th century. If so, the stability of the Holocene is no more. How can “we” come to terms with this shift across the many current global divides? Addressing this question is a multi-disciplinary task in which Christian ecotheology can only play a minor role. This paper will explore such a contribution from the perspective of a 12-year-long collaborative project entitled “An Earthed Faith” which invites ecumenical conversation across such global divides. For 2023 this project focuses on the theme of God’s providence, reflecting on the core Christian conviction that God cares for us, for the whole of God’s creation. This conviction is itself highly contested as the use of the phrase “In God we trust” on the USA dollar bill indicates. More specifically, this presentation will focus on one aspect of providence, namely the trust in God’s just governance in history. This is widely tested and contested, nowhere more than in the Pacific region. How does one even begin to make sense of this given the shift from the Holocene to the “Anthropocene”?


Date: September 27th 2023, nibbles from 6pm, lecture from 6:15pm.
Location: Maclaurin Chapel, 18 Princes Street, Auckland.

About the Speaker

Ernst Conradie
Prof. Ernst Conradie

Ernst M. Conradie is senior professor in the Department of Religion and Theology at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, where he teaches systematic theology and ethics. He specialises in Christian ecotheology. He is currently involved in a collaborative research project entitled An Earthed Faith: Telling the Story amid the “Anthropocene”.

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