METANOIA AND HEALING: TOWARD A GREAT PLAINS LAND ETHIC
A Great Plains land ethic is shaped by an intimate knowledge of and appreciation for the evolution, ecology, and aesthetics of the plains landscape. The landscape evokes a sense of wonder and mystery suggested by the word “sacrament.” The biblical concept of “covenant” points to God as a community-forming power, a creative process that has evolved into the earth community to which we humans belong. In contrast to an anthropocentric ethic which emphasizes human dominion over nature, a Theo-centric land ethic seeks a balance, reflected in Genesis 1–3, between humans who are members of the earth community and moral agents accountable to God for the earth. A land ethic identifies concrete practices of metanoia and healing: agricultural practices to address the loss and degradation of soil; conservation and protection of water sources; utilization of wind and solar energy; and prescribed burning to restore processes vital to the prairie ecosystem. The concept of subsidiarity suggests that practices of metanoia and healing are a combination of wise public policy balanced by personal, family, church, business, and community responsibility.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2009