Nuturing ecological responsibility : ecological pastoral care approach within the South Korea context

Seo, Ban-Seok (2020-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research proposes a pastoral caring approach to overcome the ecological apathy and to nurture the ecological responsibility of the conservative Presbyterian Church in South Korea, especially in the churches of the Hapdong denomination in the context of environmental crisis. In spite of the severity of the current ecological pollution and climate change, most churches in the Hapdong denomination are indifferent to the ecological suffering caused through environmental degradation and to the necessary protection of the natural environment. Thus, in discussing the justification for the Korean churches to participate in caring activities for the earth, the research first examines the ecological crisis faced by the world and also by South Korean society, and the ecological suffering experienced by all the members of the earth. The researcher also analyzes the problematic phenomenon of the ecological apathy of the Hapdong denomination and its causes. According to analyses of the ideological, socio-economic and theological background, the ecological apathy of the churches results from lack of awareness of the interrelationship between God, human beings and nature and of the value of the natural environment. In particular, the researcher reveals that the natural environment has become neglected in the Hapdong churches through the influx into Korean society of the Western scientific and mechanistic view of nature, rapid economic development and the spread of neoliberalism, and the theological influence of fundamentalism and premillennialism. To resolve the problematic phenomena, the research provides a theoretical foundation for ecological pastoral care towards nurturing ecological consciousness and responsibility on the basis of Daniël J. Louw’s practical and pastoral theology. Louw’s understanding of God’s caring praxis as the basis of pastoral care practice, human beings as systemic and soulful beings, and the metaphorical approach applied in spiritual care could be ecologically extended. The research focuses in particular on the Louw’s metaphor of God as Host, which can be understood with regard to God’s welcoming of and caring for all creation, and suggests this as a foundational metaphor that can be used to foster ecological consciousness and responsibility along with the complementary metaphors of human beings as stewards and the earth as the household of God. Based on such a pastoral theological understanding, the researcher suggests ecological pastoral care practices applied through worship and small-group ministry, which are common and popular ministering practices for the nurturing of believers in the Hapdong churches. Creating a space of hospitality for all of creation in the Hapdong churches through the practice of ecological worship, embodying the hospitable praxis of God for all beings, as well as small-group ministry in which Bible study, mutual caring and environmental protection activities are performed, may help to transform the community of believers into responsible participants in caring for all creation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing stel 'n pastorale omgee-benadering voor om ekologiese apatie in die konteks van omgewingskrisis te oorkom en om ekologiese verantwoordelikheid binne die konserwatiewe Presbiteriaanse Kerk in Suid-Korea, veral in die kerke van die Hapdong-kerkgenootskap, te koester Ten spyte van die erns van die huidige ekologiese besoedeling en klimaatsverandering, staan die meeste kerke in die Hapdong-kerkgenootskap onverskillig teenoor die ekologiese lyding wat deur agteruitgang van die omgewing veroorsaak word, sowel as teenoor die nodige beskerming van die natuurlike omgewing. Deur bespreking van regverdiging vir die Koreaanse kerke om aan die versorging van die aarde deel te neem, ondersoek die navorsing eerstens die ekologiese krisis wat die wêreld, asook die Suid-Koreaanse samelewing, in die gesig staar, en ook die ekologiese lyding wat deur almal en alles op die aarde ervaar word. Die navorser ontleed voorts die problematiese verskynsel van ekologiese apatie in die Hapdong-kerkgenootshap en die oorsake daarvan. Volgens ontleding van die ideologiese, sosio-ekonomiese en teologiese agtergrond is die ekologiese apatie van die kerke die gevolg van 'n gebrek aan bewustheid van die onderlinge verband tussen God, mens en natuur en van die waarde van die natuurlike omgewing. Die navorser onthul veral dat die natuurlike omgewing in die Hapdong-kerke verwaarloos geword het as gevolg van die instroming binne die Koreaanse samelewing van die Westerse wetenskaplike en meganistiese siening van die natuur, snelle ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die verspreiding van neoliberalisme, en die teologiese invloed van fundamentalisme en premillennialisme. Om 'n oplossing vir die problematiese verskynsels te bewerkstellig, stel die navorsing 'n teoretiese grondslag voor vir ekologiese pastorale sorg gerig op die koestering van ekologiese bewustheid en verantwoordelikheid aan die hand van Daniël J. Louw se praktiese en pastorale teologie. Louw se begrip van God se sorgsame praktyke as die basis van pastorale versorgingspraktyk, mense as sistemiese en sielvolle wesens, en die metaforiese benadering wat in geestelike sorg toegepas word, kan ekologies uitgebrei word. Die navorsing fokus veral op Louw se metafoor van God as gasheer, wat verstaan kan word met betrekking tot God se verwelkoming van en sorg vir die hele skepping, en stel dit voor as 'n grondliggende metafoor wat gebruik kan word om ekologiese bewustheid en verantwoordelikheid te bevorder, tesame met die aanvullende metafore van mense as rentmeesters en die aarde as die huishouding van God. Op grond van so 'n pastorale teologiese begrip, stel die navorser voor dat ekologiese pastorale versorgingspraktyke deur die algemene en gewilde bedieningsaktiwiteite van eredienste en kleingroepbediening vir die koestering van die gelowiges in die Hapdongkerke toegepas word. Die skep van 'n ruimte vir gasvryheid in die Hapdongkerke teenoor die hele skepping deur die beoefening van ekologiese aanbidding wat die gasvrye praktyk van God vir alle wesens behels, sowel as 'n kleingroepbediening waarin Bybelstudie, wedersydse sorg en omgewings-beskermingsaktiwiteite beoefen word, kan help om die gemeenskap van gelowiges tot verantwoordelike deelnemers aan die versorging van die hele skepping te omskep.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107916
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