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Title: Mission, identity, and ecology : sustainability among the Luo of Tanzania
Author: Otieno, George Lawi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 6207
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This is a study of Luo ecology through a Christian missional-theological lens. It explores how sustainability is a moral and ecosocial problem, and confronts Christians with contemporary challenges of sustainability (including ecology) and identity politics. The backdrop is colonial, western missionary civilization: its disconnection between mission, identity and ecology; and its separation of us from each other, the biosphere and the cultural universe. It argue for a radical return to a pre-colonial indigenous narrative of interbeing and, urge the emerging religio-cultural discourses to build upon such indigenous cosmic wisdom to create new integrating sustainability ethics and practices. This thesis evaluates the ecological consequences of exclusionary theology that characterized African sociology over the last 200 years. It examines social change through colonial missionary conversion, education and medicine; and explores the dynamics of pre-colonial, Luo cultural cosmology and ecological wisdom embedded in the Bible. It pursues an alternative missional theology of social morality and inclusive sustainability. It critically engages with literature on Luo eco-social history and on ecological control and economic development in East African history; and considers its neglect in the past by the Christian academic establishment in the region. It argues that engaging moral, social and ecological challenges of sustainability requires a culturally-driven values that cannot be fully justified by forms of modern rationality, yet confronts modernity, one that lies beyond them, indeed transcends them with important implications for integrating ecosocialization. Drawing on the dynamics of Christian faith and ecological consciousness set in motion by Paul Tillich and on recent ideas from ecotheology, social ecology, human geography and sustainability; this thesis presents a fresh approach to missional theology: highlighting the possible interconnection between mission, identity and ecology. The central argument of this thesis is that everything is always connected: we must learn from our long intergenerational Luo history of ecosocial interdependence and reconsider ‘ecological salvation’ as redemptive imagination – grounded on the reality of cultural mandate, ecological reality, and transcendence.
Supervisor: Mealey, Ann Marie ; Klinken, Adriaan van ; Kelly, Patricia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available