ECOTHEOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Ecotheology is a field of study that investigates the intersection of theology (the study of religious beliefs and practices) and ecology (the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment). It seeks to address ecological concerns from spiritual perspectives, examining the moral and ethical dimensions of human interaction with the natural world, including the contribution of Indigenous worldview orientations. It offers a useful framework for understanding our moral responsibility to care for the Earth, recognising that environmental degradation affects not just ecosystems but also human communities.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1: 20).

Ecotheology may be leveraged for holistic development practice. Engaging spirituality and sustainability jointly can create synergies for holistic and enduring development practice. As such, ecotheology may inform sustainable development principles and practices enshrined in global frameworks such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The literature on sustainable development is vast. Its breadth and depth, and crossover with areas of spirituality, suggest a need to think and innovate about how development can be more equitable, more just, and more enduring. This research cluster contributes to building this field of interdisciplinary study.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Luetz, J.M. (2024). Can Indigenous Ecotheology Save the World? Affinities Between Traditional Worldviews and Environmental Sustainability. Climate and Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2024.2305883

Rizzo, D. (2024). Animal Glossolalia: A Pneumatological Framework for Animal Theology. Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 46(1), 60-79. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700747-bja10108

Leal Filho, W., Cabral Ribeiro, P.C., Mazutti, J., … Luetz, J.M., et al. (2024). Using Artificial Intelligence to Implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals at Higher Education Institutions. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2024.2327584

Potts, D.J. (2023). Eco-theology and Pentecostal Pastor’s Families: Could an Intentional Focus on Eco-theology Strengthen Pentecostal Pastor’s Families? Journal of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity, 43(2), 151–169. https://doi.org/10.1080/27691616.2023.2236666

Luetz, J.M., & Nunn, P.D. (2023). Spirituality and Sustainable Development: An Entangled and Neglected Relationship, Sustainability Science, 18, 2035–2042. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-023-01347-8

Luetz, J.M., Nichols, N., Du Plessis, K., Nunn, P.D. (2023). Spirituality and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Word Frequency Analysis and an Agenda for Research in Pacific Island Countries; Sustainability 15(3), 2201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032201

Atabongwoung, G., Luetz, J.M., & Austin, D.A. (2023). Invigorating Interfaith Consciousness for the Common Good: Reimagining the Role of African Religion and Pentecostalism in Contemporary South Africa, Religions, 14(4): 486. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14040486

Leal Filho, W., Lange Salvia, A., Ulluwishewa, R., … Luetz, J.M., et al. (2022). Linking Sustainability and Spirituality: A Preliminary Assessment in Pursuit of a Sustainable and Ethically Correct World; Journal of Cleaner Production, 380(2):135091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.135091

Grey, J.N. (2021). Editorial: Re-Fashioning our Swords into Ploughshare, Australiasian Pentecostal Studies. 22(1), 2021. https://aps-journal.com/index.php/APS/article/download/9580/9604/

Griffiths, J.D. (2021). Wonders in the Heavens Above, Signs on the Earth Below: Pacific Islands Pentecostalism, Climate Change and Acts 2. In: Luetz, J.M., Nunn, P.D. (Eds.). Beyond Belief. Climate Change Management. Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67602-5_17

Davis, A. (2021). Pentecostal Approaches to Ecotheology: Reviewing the Literature. Australasian Pentecostal Studies, 22(1), 4–33. https://aps-journal.com/index.php/APS/article/view/9572

Griffiths, J.D. (2021). Spirit-Baptised Creation: Locating Pentecost in the Meta-Narrative of Creation and Its Implications for a Pentecostal Ecology. Australasian Pentecostal Studies, 22(1), 46–60. https://aps-journal.com/index.php/APS/article/view/9570

Luetz, J.M., & Leo, R.G. (2021). Christianity, Creation, and the Climate Crisis—Ecotheological Paradigms and Perspectives. In J.M. Luetz & P.D. Nunn (Eds.), Beyond Belief—Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands (pp. 345–375). Springer Nature, Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67602-5_18

Griffiths, J.D. (2021). All the Earth, Let Us Sing: Searching for a Latent Pentecostal Ecology in Australian Pentecostal Worship. In C. Nellist (Ed.) Climate Crisis and Sustainable Creaturely Care: Integrated Theology, Governance and Justice (pp. 81–102). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Luetz, J.M., & Nunn, P.D. (Eds.). (2021). Beyond Belief—Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands. Springer Nature Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67602-5

Raman, T.A., & Luetz, J.M. (2021). How Does Faith Influence Pro-Environmental Practice in Schools? Examples from the Pacific Islands. In J.M. Luetz & P.D. Nunn (Eds.), Beyond Belief—Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands (pp. 313–326). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67602-5_16

Nunn, P.D., & Luetz, J.M. (2021). Beyond Belief. In J.M. Luetz & P.D. Nunn (Eds.), Beyond Belief—Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands (pp. 1–14). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67602-5_1

Buxton, G., Luetz, J.M., & Shaw, S. (2021). Towards an Embodied Pedagogy in Educating for Creation Care. In J.M. Luetz & B. Green (Eds.), Innovating Christian Education Research—Multidisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 349–375). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-8856-3_20

Ayre, C.W., Hills, K., & Luetz, J.M. (2021). Ecology, War, and Nuclear Testing in the Pacific—The Path of Reconciliation. In J.M. Luetz & P.D. Nunn (Eds.), Beyond Belief—Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands (pp. 17–37). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67602-5_2

Luetz, J.M., & Nunn, P.D. (2020). Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands—A Review of Faith-Engaged Approaches and Opportunities. In Leal Filho W. (Eds.), Managing Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Region (pp. 293–311). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40552-6_15

Luetz, J.M, Margus, R., & Prickett, B. (2020). Human Behavior Change for Sustainable Development—Perspectives Informed by Psychology and Neuroscience. In W. Leal Filho, A. Marisa Azul, L. Brandli, P. Gökcin Özuyar, T. Wall (Eds.), Quality Education—Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (pp. 419–434). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95870-5_12

Luetz, J.M., Bergsma, C., & Hills, K. (2019). The Poor just Might Be the Educators We Need for Global Sustainability—A Manifesto for Consulting the Unconsulted. In W. Leal Filho, & A. Consorte McCrea (Eds.), Sustainability and the Humanities (pp. 115–140). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95336-6_7

Nelson, W., & Luetz, J.M. (2019). What Can We Learn from Pope Francis About Change Management for Environmental Sustainability? A Case Study on Success Factors for Leading Change in Change-Resistant Institutional Environments. In W. Leal Filho, & A. Consorte McCrea (Eds.), Sustainability and the Humanities (pp. 503–524). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95336-6_29

Luetz, J.M., & Walid, M. (2019). Social Responsibility versus Sustainable Development in United Nations Policy Documents—A Meta-Analytical Review of Key Terms in Human Development Reports. In W. Leal Filho (Eds.), Social Responsibility and Sustainability (pp. 301–334). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03562-4_16

Walid, M., & Luetz, J.M. (2018). From Education for Sustainable Development to Education for Environmental Sustainability—Reconnecting the Disconnected SDGs. In W. Leal Filho (Eds.), Handbook of Sustainability Science and Research (pp. 803–826). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63007-6_49

Luetz, J.M., Buxton, G., & Bangert, K. (2018). Christian Theological, Hermeneutical and Eschatological Perspectives on Environmental Sustainability and Creation Care—The Role of Holistic Education. In J.M. Luetz, T. Dowden, & B. Norsworthy (Eds.), Reimagining Christian Education—Cultivating Transformative Approaches (pp. 51–73). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0851-2_4

HDR THESES

Healy, Timothy. The Role of Ecotheological Education and Ecotheological Practice in Australian Theological Higher Education (PhD)

Rizzo, Daniela. The Spirit and all flesh: Towards a Pentecostal pneumatology of non-human animals, with a special emphasis on animal glossolalia (PhD)

RESEARCH WEBCAST

Healy, T. (2022). Is caring for the environment Christian? Masterclass (29 June). https://youtu.be/f2qn0aI3N1I

LEAD RESEARCHERS

HDR CANDIDATES

PHD SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships are currently available for research in this cluster with a focus on Indigenous perspectives. To inquire, contact Johannes Luetz.

ACTIVE CALL FOR PAPERS

Luetz, J.M., Leal Filho, W., & Nunn, P.D. (Eds.). (2025; forthcoming). Handbook of Traditional Spirituality and Sustainability. World Sustainability Series. Springer Nature.

Expressions of interest to contribute to the book, initially consisting of a 200-word abstract with the title of the work, qualifications, and the full contact details of the author/s, should be sent to Johannes Luetz.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

This research cluster contributes to the advancement of the following goals:

E-WEB-Goal-04

E-WEB-Goal-10

E-WEB-Goal-13

E-WEB-Goal-15