Category Archives: ecology

Jesus, the church and mission

This essay is based on two assumptions, 1/that mission is central to responding to the call of Jesus and 2/ That the institutional church has neglected the centrality of Jesus’ call to mission and constructed modes of social engagement that have no resemblance to the mission of Jesus as presented in the bible.

Rev. Graham Paulson, a respected elder, pastor and theologian, has written an essay entitled “Towards an Aboriginal Theology” that urges Aboriginal Christians to approach the bible from the perspective of their own culture and spirituality instead of the perspective of the European missionaries. Apart from a traditional protestant approach to biblical authority, Rev. Paulsen argues, the European missionaries’ context of Pacific colonialism needs to be taken into account when understanding the theology of the white Australian church.

Rev. Paulson’s essay uncritically accepts European Christianity to be appropriate and proper for European Christians and he focuses on the agenda of Aboriginal Christianity.

However in this essay I challenge the appropriateness and properness of the historical forms of the European Church, especially in Australia, as an agency to manifest the mission of Jesus. I propose a different framework for mission. Continue reading

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Towards an Aboriginal theology – Graham Paulson

excerpt – “What I do intend to discuss are the key
features of a biblical theology that relate especially to Indigenous
cultures. The focus will be on biblical principles not just because I am a Protestant, but because the development of theology in the Pacific
region is weighed down by a history of colonialism. One way of over-
coming the effects of this history is to engage with the biblical literature, rather than Western theology, with resources drawn from our own spiritual traditions.”

Click here for PDF – “Towards an Aboriginal theology” by Graham Paulson

from Pacifica Australasian theological studies

“Anarcho-Primitivism and the bible” by Ched Myers

“The trenchant anarcho-primitivist critique of civilisation finds surprising resonance in the Hebrew-Christian scriptures – if, that is, they are read as documents of Israelite resistance to Ancient Near Eastern empires from Egypt to Rome, rather than a legitimating ideology for Christendom.”

Click here for PDF “”Anarcho-Primitivism and the bible” by Ched Myers”

Ched Myers website – Click here “


anarcho-primitivism in wikipedia

see also “In the land of the living” – christian anarcho-primitivism

What is (or is not) “Dreaming”?

Too Obvious to See: Aboriginal Spirituality and Cosmology

Penny Tripcony, Manager (at the time of the speech), Oodgeroo Unit, Queensland University of Technology)
(Paper initially presented at the National Conference of the Australian Association of Religious Education, September, 1996.)
from – QUT Oodgeroo Unit

“It is not a word that Aboriginal groups have used; it is a non-Aboriginal anthropological term which does not acknowledge the diversity amongst Aboriginal groups.”

“The term has become debased. It has gained currency amongst non-Indigenous Australia and is being used in contexts which have no relationship to the complexity of Aboriginal spirituality. The Dreaming is not the product of human dreams (is not referred to in Aboriginal languages for dreams or the act of dreaming. The use of the English word ‘dreaming’ is more of a matter of analogy than translation.)”
Continue reading

Saint Francis – The Patron Saint of Birdbaths?

The following is a sermon preached by Brother William of the Anglican Society of St. Francis. Brother William is a remarkable old man who I have had the privilege of crossing paths with on several occaisions over the last few decades.

(He did not call his sermon “The Patron Saint of Birdbaths”)

reproduced from Faith Futures

See also Brother William’s blog The Divine Universe

A sermon preached at St Francis’ Theological College, Brisbane for the Festival of St Francis, 2007.

I was delighted to receive the invitation to speak at today’s College celebration. Not only is St Francis the patron of the college where I have studied and, later on, taught but also the patron of the religious community I belong to.

St Francis is the most popular saint in Protestant Christendom. Even agnostics and atheists have a soft spot for him. And, of course, pet-lovers adore him, seeing him as a kind of patron saint of birdbaths.

No man among the saints of Christendom has had more written about him; none enjoyed so wide a popularity as Francis of Assisi. I do not have in mind the pop-art image of a handsome, tall young Anglo-Saxon with a funny haircut, wearing a cute brown costume and surrounded by tame animals. The real Francis is far more enigmatic and more challenging than that. The fact that so much has been written about him (a new book appears almost every year) is not because he is easy to write about, but rather because the enigma is so fascinating, the impact of his life so powerful.
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Cultural/Linguistic Diversity and Deep Social Ecology (Genesis 11:1-9)

by Ched Myers

Another interesting essay, one I referred to in my own essay “Babylon and the Christian Church in Australia”

reproduced from A Globe of Witnesses

see also Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

“It is interesting that the symbol of the fall in Genesis 3 is the human being’s expulsion from the Garden, his alienation from the earth, and his condemnation to a life of toil as an agriculturalist. This was indeed the story of the late Neolithic. Moreover, the first act outside the Garden is fratricide, in which the pastoralist Abel, symbolizing the remnants of the older, not-yet-fully-domesticated lifeways of the nomad forager, is murdered by the farmer Cain. This metaphorical vignette represents the opening battle of subsequent history’s longest war between aggressive, expansionist agriculturally based societies and their insatiable appetite for land on one hand, and ever-retreating traditional foragers on the other.”
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Colonised Land; Colonised Mind (A Scottish perspective)

by Alastair McIntosh

I found this essay on the Rainforest Information Centre Website via the Henry George Institute

website of Alastair McIntosh

“It worries me when I hear of people of Scots descent putting obstacles in the way of native land rights claims in countries like Australia or the States. They should study their own history, mostly untaught in schools, and come to see that this is unbecoming behaviour. It is a betrayal not just of native land rights of the first nation peoples with who they now live, but also of our own people.”
Continue reading