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The very future of the universe, given the threat of ecological destruction on an immense scale, and Christian Responsibility, were just two of the topics discussed by a meeting of theologians from different parts of Europe.
A Consultation on the theology of creation took place in March 29-31 2004 at the John Knox International Reformed Centre in the hills above Lake Geneva within sight of the snow-capped Jura mountain range.
The participants came from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the UK.
They represented different churches and strands of Christian theology:
The UK were represented by Mary Grey, Michael Northcott, Edward Echlin, Robin Morrison and genetic scientist Sam Berry.
Lukas Vischer co-ordinated the consultation and hopes to present a paper to the next ECEN Assembly in Basel in May 2005 reflecting the consensus reached. Previous ECEN assemblies have shared information on church and environment projects and set up working parties on a number of urgent practical environmental issues. They recognise the need for a statement on the Christian theological response to the environmental crises we face which would take account of new trends and developments in creation theology.
An important part of such meetings are personal contacts made and the exchange of ideas between experts in related fields. It was a fascinating experience to see scholars, caring deeply about God's creation, respectful of each other's traditions and expertise, yet ready to defend their own perspectives, discussing issues such as:
There was emphasis on
It is hoped that the results of this consultation will give new inspiration for further reflection and action to churches and church related groups and movements in Europe.
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