Proprietors or Priests of Creation?

Our ecological crisis is due not so much to a wrong ethic as to a bad ethos; it is a cultural problem. In our Western culture we did everything to de-sacralise life, to fill our societies with legislators, moralists and thinkers, and undermined the fact that the human being is also, or rather primarily, a liturgical being, faced from the moment of birth with a world that he or she must treat either as a sacred gift or as raw material for exploitation and use. We are all born priests, and unless we remain so throughout our lives we are bound to suffer the ecological consequences we are now experiencing.
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Towards an Eschatological Ontology

The consequences of this thesis for system theology deserves special emphasis. In the first instance it is no longer possible to treat eschatology as the last chapter of dogmatics, as it has been the case at least since the Middle Ages in all dogmatic manuals. Eschatology does not refer to the ‘last things’ or the ‘last days’ as the culminating point in the history of salvation. It is rather a dimension running through the entire doctrine, at least in what concerns the oikonomia. Even the doctrine of creation must be placed in the light of eschatology if it is to acquire its full meaning, let alone Christology, soteriology and the doctrine of the Church. Without reference to the eschaton, the entire oikonomia loses its meaning. The last things colour and decide the entire Heilsgeschichte.

Secondly, the doctrine of the ‘last things’ is affected seriously by this thesis. Traditionally, this doctrine concerned matters after death, such as the fate of the body and soul after the grave, the last judgment etc. If this thesis is accepted, eschatology should be understood as affecting also the present life before death, indeed the entire history itself. The misunderstanding of eschatology as a dimension of history, as a key and a method in dealing with history, opens up the frontiers of history and, instead of creating a dilemma, ‘history or eschatology’ it turns existence into an ‘event’, its brings together event and being, the world as it is and the world as it will be. Thus, whereas the classical eschatology affected the present only psychologically (the hope for a new world, the expectation of a future, etc) it is now understood as affecting it also ontologically, ie as determining our very concept of being.
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