Ecofeminist Theology

I got re-inspired about ecofeminist theology this weekend at Ecumenical Advocacy Days, where the theme was “Development, Security & Economic Justice: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?”  

I don’t feel that I can do the topic justice in a short blog post, so I wanted to share a few items on the topic.  First off, a thank you to Rev. Dr. Daisy L. Machado of Union Theological Seminary for inspiring me with her presentation on Ecocide and Femicide on the US-Mexico Border.  

I also wanted to include the names of a few of the ecofeminist theologians that Rev. Dr. Machado included in her presentation and encourage people to look into their work, which makes connections between structures of domination as they have affected both women and the earth. Ivone Gebara, Elizabeth Dodson Gray, Sallie McFague, and Rosemary Radford Ruether, to name a few.

Here are a few thoughts from Sallie McFague that Rev. Dr. Machado shared: McFague who asserts that humans must understand that the earth cannot flourish if all parts are not cared for.  This “ecological literacy” calls on us to remember that all human life is dependent on the world in which we live.  Further, McFague reminds us that no religions say “blessed are the greedy.”

The presentation concluded with tying ecofeminist theology to economic and globalization issues, particularly having to do with free trade issues surrounding maquiladoras (or multinational assembly plants) in Juarez, Mexico.  The stories and statistics that Rev. Dr. Machado shared were sobering, and left me feeling called to action.  She shared about femicide in Juarez – over 400 women have been sexually assaulted and killed from the 1990s to today, one third of the maquiladora workers, and most of the murders have gone unsolved.  I realize that I am leaving a lot of this story out – I share it to call attention to the fact that there are so many stories around the globe that have these themes – globalization, injustice to people, degradation of the earth, and I encourage you to look into these connections.  

To learn more about Latin American feminist theology and related issues, look for Feminist Intercultural Theology: Latina Explorations for a Just World, edited by Rev. Dr. Machado and others.

Rev. Dr. Machado ended her presentation by stating that “God calls us to SEE, to JUDGE, and to ACT.”  What are you seeing related to environmental justice issues, what is your judgment of these issues, and how are you acting?

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