“To achieve this justice, both economically and ecologically, there needs to be an awareness—a real deep theological reflection on what it means to be caretakers of the earth, to take care of creation.”
So says Grace Ji-Sun Kim, visiting researcher at Georgetown University and member of the Working Group on Climate Change for the World Council of Churches.
Kim, who recently returned from a meeting of the working group in Wuppertal, Germany, talks about climate change in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com.
Kim says the group focused this year on issues of pollution, divestment and economic justice.
The group has about 30 members from all over the world, including Indonesia, Fiji and Africa.
“The developing countries—the marginalized and the poor and the outcasts—are suffering from the habits of the rich people around the world,” says Kim, author of numerous books and articles. “When we are hurting the earth, we are doing great damage to the poor. The poor are losing their lives and homes.”
“We are always striving for peace, and Jesus talked about—that we need to be peacemakers and peacekeepers,” says Kim. “And within the World Council of Churches, the recognition is, we can’t have peace without peace with the earth. So we can’t have peace on earth without peace with the earth.”
Christians themselves are part of the problem, says Kim, who characterizes the problematic attitude this way: “We can dominate the earth, we can take the resources, whatever we want, as long as we’re satisfied.”
While in Germany, members of the working group visited churches to see how they’re working to care for creation better.
They are redesigning buildings to be more ecologically friendly, reducing energy consumption, generating less waste.
“They’re being more proactive” in Europe, says Kim, adding that climate change awareness there is greater than in the United States.
“There’s just a wider acceptance that climate change is real,” says Kim. “It’s happening. There isn’t that denial that I find within many Americans, and within American Christians, too.”
Watch the interview with Kim at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-gracejisunkim2
Watch a previous interview with Kim about the Korean church at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-gracejisunkim
Learn more about Grace Ji-Sun Kim at gracejisunkim.wordpress.com/
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily