Nelson Otaya, SJ
Ecoteología is an interdisciplinary research team formed to reflect theologically on the environmental crisis and to evaluate environmental management programmes designed to lead towards a culture of sustainability. Its focus is the relationship of humankind, nature, and God.
The team was created in 2002 by professors of theology and environmental studies and includes scientists from other disciplines. The aim is to establish a dialogue between theology and such disciplines as biology, ecology, engineering, chemistry, agronomy, art, and education.
The work has an impact on both the national and international level, and comprises research projects such as “Ecotheology as a key of justice, peace and development” and “Comprehensive training and ecological values.” It also coordinates an environmental management system in the campus buildings of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia – a response to ecological challenges that we as Society of Jesus need to work on. In several occasions, the team analysed and commented on statements of the Magisterium’s statements concerning the environment, as well as other documents of the Church and the Society of Jesus.
In the academic field, this forum focuses on subjects such as: ecotheology and the sense of life, ecology and religion; ecotheology of development; theology and ecology; environment ethics (or agro-ecology); and theology. The team also guides the work of the Bureau Ecoteología Interfaith Bogotá, and released a Guide to Pastoral Land, updating the dialogue between theology and ecology.
Since 2010, the team identified four projects for an Investigative Pathways Degree in Theology: The Epistemology of Ecotheology; Education and Ecotheology; and Ecotheology and Intercultural Pastoral Practice of the Earth. Such an approach vitalises the dialogue with creation in order to maintain communion with God and with others, to promote a culture of sustainability and prosperity, to reform lifestyles and to act responsibly – as politicians, as individuals, as families.
“Think theologically – Act ecologically” inspires the daily practice that is systematised on the basis of a theology that craves justice, peace, and sustainable development, through love of and service to the most vulnerable of Creation.
Nelson Otaya, SJ is a theologian and a team member of Ecoteología. For further information, visit the the team’s blog, Ecoteología.