From distorted sociality to the common realm Godbody

The subject of a political theology of nature is the distortions of social relations of un/natural humanity with nature, in relation to God's Trinity. At the conclusion of this theological inquiry, the contours of such a political theology are now evident: a theological social anthropology in a doctrine ofcreation has emerged, constructed out ofan intensive engagement with political ecology, which is both Trinitarian and founded in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-body. Some of the central concepts and commitments of Christianity have therefore been deployed in a dynamic, yet critical, articulation with political construals of nature. Important political issues - for example, the otherness of nature; democratic negotiation - have emerged during the inquiry. Yet these political issues have emerged always within a theological argument. The Christology of chapter 7 stresses the placing of human society in its wider environment: the situatedness of un/natural relations. The pneumatology of chapter 8 stresses fellowship towards overcoming distorted social relations of humanity with non-human nature and the overcoming ofdistorted social relations ofnature with human habitats.

The concepts of common realm and pedagogy of the commons have emerged through consideration ofthe identity ofthe creator God and the identity bestowed by God on creation. The identity of God revealed in Jesus Christ is Trinitarian. As Trinitarian, God invites consideration of God's non-identical presentation in the economy of the world. God's identity is not to be traced to the world, but neither is such identity not to be traced there. The creaturely identity bestowed by God upon the world is also dialectical: human identity is not to be found in nature, but then neither is such identity not to be found there. The end of nature is not to be found in humanity, but neither is that end not to be found there. The ecosocial conceptuality of the Christological relating of temporality, the Christological shaping of sociality and the Christological placing of spa-tiality are, of course, dedicated to the elucidation of this claim.

This Trinitarian theology of nature stresses the sufficiency of the liberation of nature in Christ. For, in the perspective of the sufficiency of the salvation which inheres in Christ, there is no Christian imperative to 'save the world'.1 To make such an attempt would be to deny the actuality of the common realm of God, nature and humanity. Furthermore, if we are not to fall into Pelagian traps, we must stress also the necessity of the liberation of Christ. Attempts by human beings to reorient their practices must be worked through by re-entering the blessing of common fellowship: a redoubling of the blessing of the ecological relations of the common realm.

These commitments are central to the argument of this book. However, we may discern an omission in the discussion so far: how are we to think of the life, death and resurrection of Christ in the context of a political theology of nature.? How are they internal to a pedagogy of fellowship and friendship? Of course, as I stressed in chapter 2, the theological, transcendental inquiry practised here begins from the career of Jesus of Nazareth. Yet I have pressed the insights drawn from such a beginning towards the consideration of a Trinitarian doctrine of creation. What happens if we now return from such a theology of creatureliness - a Trinitarian theology of ecological nature (human and non-human) - to consider explicitly how the God-body, crucified and resurrected, may inform and support the theology of creaturely relations proposed here?

God-body: the subject of this chapter is how attention to the 'career' of the Christ of God may be grasped as internal to un/natural relations and un/natural fellowship and may guide and test such practice. I understand such a pedagogy of the commons, to which the cross and resurrection of the God-body are internal, as open to two persistent temptations: ignoring or evading the non-identical relations between humanity and nonhuman nature, and substituting discourses and practices of identity - that is, respectively, personalism and naturalism.

Against such temptations, praise of the God-body resituates human beings in the un/natural relations of the common realm. Praise of,

1. The obverse side of claims to save the world are those which maintain that we can with impunity ruin the earth and deny its capacities to support humanity. See Harvey, Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference, pp. 194-5.

participation in, the God-body occurs in actual gathered congregations: 'Christ existing as community', as Bonhoeffer put it in Sanctorum Communio.2 Participation in the life of the God-body invites anew the affirmation of the creaturely blessing of life in its un/natural fellowship with non-human nature, in the orientation of the common realm towards the eschatological fellowship ofthe triune life ofGod.

In this final chapter, I explore the matter of the cross and resurrection as internal guides to un/natural relations and the criticism of humanised and natural relations. In a discussion ofthe eucharist, I consider more directly the church as the principal 'location' in and from which Christians construe place. I briefly reconsider the gift of the Spirit and the God-body: participation in Christian community is to participate in and practise un/natural fellowship and friendship. Here is the nerve of a political theology of nature: against a dominant order which carelessly treats nature as backdrop, and which permits a few alternative protests, oppositional ecclesial practices undermine the false, unsatisfying and ecologically destructive antithesis of'either us or nature'.

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