Report of the 38th LRC Seminar

On Eco-Theology
Mount St Thomas , Kakkanad, Kochi
24-26, Nov. 2010


24th November 2010 Wednesday

3.30 pm Arrival, Registration and Tea
5.00 pm Inaugural Session
5.05 Welcome Speech : Fr. Sebastian Naduthadam, Executive Director, LRC.
5.15 Inaugural Address : Major Archbishop Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil.
5.25 Presidential Address :Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath, Chairman, LRC.

Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, Episcopal Member, LRC
Bishop Mar Bosco Puthur, Curial
Bishop Bishop Mar Pauly Kannookadan,
Bishop of Irinjalakuda Diocese.

6.00 Key not Address : An Outline For Eco - Theology
Rev. Dr. Francis Vineeth CMI, Acharya, Vidyavanam Ashram, Bangalore.
6.45 Self Introduction
Vote of Thanks :Rev Dr Jose Palakeel, Member of LRC Board of Directors.
7.00 First Session: Moderator: Rev Dr Andrews Mekkattukunnel, St Thomas Apostolic Seminary. Eco in Bible – Rev.Dr.Sebastian Kizhakkayil MST, Director, Santhom Bible Centre, Pariyaram
7.45 Evening Prayer
8.15 Supper
9.15 Night Prayer , Night Rest

25th November 2010, Thursday

5.30 am Rising
6.00 Morning Prayer

Holy Qurbana, Main Celebrant – Mar Pauly Kannookadan

7.30 Breakfast
8.45 Discussion on the previous paper

Second Session: Moderator : Abbot Dr. Xavier Koodapuzha
Eco in Fathers of the Church – Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Kaniyamparambil OCD, Carmalaram, Bangalore.

10.15 Coffee Break
10.30 Discussion
11.15 Third Session : Eco in Ethics. Rev.Dr. Jacob Koippally, Director, John Paul 11 Institute of Studies for Marriage and Family, Cana,
Moderator : Rev Sr. Dr. Leonila CMC, Generalate, Aluva
12. 00 Discussion
12. 45 Lunch
2. 00 pm Fourth Session: Moderator : Rev. Dr. James Thalachelloor, St Thomas Apostolic Seminary Eco in Science - Rev. Dr. Augustine Pamplany CST, Little Flower Seminary, Aluva
2. 45 Discussion
3. 30 Coffee Break
5. 00 Fifth Session : Moderator : Rev. Dr. Jose Panthaplamthottiyil CMI, Prior General Eco Spirituality - Rev Sr Dr Ancil FCC, Generalate, Aluva
5. 45 Discussion
6. 30 Interval
6. 45 Classical Concert by Rev. Dr. Philip Vysaneth OIC, Musicologist, Bethany Ashram, Thiruvalla.
8. 00 Evening Prayer
8. 30 Supper
9. 30 Night Prayer, Night Rest

26th November 2010 Friday

5. 30 am Rising
6. 00 Morning Prayer
6. 30 Holy Qurbana, Main Celebrant, Mar Joseph Kallarangatt
7. 30 Breakfast
8. 30

Panel Discussion on Eco – Resemblance in Christian Art , Culture and Liturature.
Moderator : Prof. Dr. Jolly Zacharia, Mar Evanios College

  1. Eco-Resemblance in Poetry and Fiction: Prof.Dr. Kurias Kumblakkuzhy, Malayalam Literary Critic; Chief Editor, Pratichaya

  2. Eco - resemblance in Theatre and Movie: Dr. C.K Thomas, Direction, Doordarshan

  3. Eco - resemblance in Children’s Literature: Sri Sippy Pallipuram, Balasahityam Award Winner, Kendra Sahitya Academy

  4. Eco - resemblance in Music: Rev. Dr. Philip Vysanethu OIC, Musicologist and Liturgist, Bethany Ashram, Thiruvalla

10. 30 Coffee Break
10. 45 Discussion
11. 30 Group Discussion
12. 30 Presentation of the Group Reports and General Discussion
Moderator : Sebastian Parackal
1. 15 Concluding Session presided by Mar Bosco Puthur
1.30 Vote of thanks – Sr Ginny CHF, Office Secretary, LRC
1. 35 Lunch and Departure


At the present time many issues that are of interest to the  general public  have an environmental dimension. This ranges from natural and human – caused disasters to concerns about climate change and energy needs. Ecology is more than a set of ideas and principles that one might learn. It is rather a way of looking at the world to understand how different components of the earth fit together, how each influences and is influenced and how the whole operate often in  an unpredictable way. The complexity of the nature is amazing !  We have to look in to the role played by human activity that made the nature more complex.

Ecological Problems
Unlike  our ancestors who tasted the nature in the raw, we are confronted with problems of a much more complex nature.. A majority of these problems  are of our own making. We need an approach to human environment in relation to the impact of human interventions and interactions over the thousands of years.
As human society evolved and progressed, human being  involved themselves in pursuit that our living more and more  comfortable. During the process, history also witnessed the emergence of various problems, both from natural and social environment. The earth is getting polluted. The soil, minerals, water, fuel, plant and animal resources are getting reduced. Chemical contamination  caused by synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, food additives, dams are causing havoc to plants, animals and human life. Climate change ,droughts and floods are becoming drastic

Environmental Education
Environmental  education has its roots in the developed countries which witnessed the systematic       destruction of its environment about 30-40 years ago. In India this consciousness has arisen only during   the past two decades, particularly after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy  which clamed 20,000 lives and crippled millions and at present owing to the disasters brought by the use of  Endolsulfan

The Subject matter of ecology
The subject matter of ecology is the entire natural world , including both living and nonliving parts. It is the study of Environmental System or as it is some times called, the Economy of Nature. Environmental usually means relating to the natural world in comparison with human made world. The system means that ecology is by its very nature, not interested in just  the components of nature individually, but especially in how the parts interact. So the study of ecology  needs the understanding of  how events in the nature are interconnected. It is a science of relationships between people and natural environment which investigate how human change affect their environment.

Ecology is related to science and its domain is vast: Physiological ecology , Community ecology, Applied ecology, Eco-system ecology, Ecology and Evolution, Population ecology, etc. More recently ecology has included the human dominated World of Agriculture, Grazing land for animals, Cities and also Industrial Parks

Eco Theology
And we add here one more subject to Ecology: Eco- Theology. Eco theology or Ecological Theology is an attempt to cross- disciplinary research  between Theology and Science. This research by means of interaction and discussion between the two sciences will bring a comprehensive understanding of the creation of God enabling man to live eco - friendly.

The context of Eco Theology
Certain leading Ecologists (Lynn White Junior, American Medieval historian) hold the opinion that the root of our Ecological crisis is to be sought in the Christian Theology. They call it an “ecological complaint”  against theology.  The identification of the roots of the ecological crisis as being theological in nature stimulated the emergence of the discipline of Eco Theology.
Theology and Anthropocentrism
In the traditional Christian theology God’s transcendence dominates His immanence.  Actually this theology is a distorted way of thinking of what is seen in the Bible where God is close to man (Gen. 3:8).  The result of this kind of theology is the growth of an anthropocentrism inimical to the rest of creation.  The difference between the Theology of East and West is significant.   In the East theology is more contemplative whereas in the West it is active.  So in the western atmosphere the conquest of nature is an implicit character of the Theology.

The Relevance and Need of a Restored Theology
The  world wide  ecological crisis provides the Church with an opportunity to restore an integral understanding of the Trinitarian God who is both transcendent and immanent and of the Gospel which is theocentric, biocentric and enriched by insights that God’s Kingdom is ‘creation centre salvation’  rather than merely anthropocentrically focused. The notion of such theology is well founded in St. Paul Rom.8:21-22.

Human ecology is deeply conditioned by beliefs about our nature and destiny by religion.  So more science and technology are not going to get us out of the present ecological crisis. What is needed is a new way of thinking with theological basis because it is God who  made man and nature.  Therefore the nature also reveals and proclaims the wonderful deeds of God.(Rom 1: 20) with His creation in His overflowing  mercy.  This balanced view of man and nature is the fundamental aspect of the eco theology.

LRC Seminar on Eco Theology
Considering the relevance and importance of ecology in the present context, LRC becomes the venue of study and reflection on this subject. Ours will not be a peripheral approach.  We go deep in to the actual problems of our time vis- a- vis our environment.  We will try to find out the Theological Reasons of this distorted way of thinking of exploiting the nature for the self interest of man by causing ;serious damage to the God created marvellous Earth and its atmosphere.  And then we have to find out solutions to these tragic problems in the basis of theology because man is led by ideas which are deep rooted in history.

In order to help us in this endeavour, we have eminent scholars to present their thoughts in their papers.  We try to look in to the subject from different angles – Biblical, Patristic, Ethic, Spiritual, Scientific and Cultural related to Christian point of view – and of course the Keynote Address which will introduce us to the kernel of the problem and again the presence of Mar Varkey Pithave, and others……, and honorable Professors…...

I take this occasion to congratulate and thank all the scholars who took pain to come over here for presenting the papers and all the experts who have come here enthusiastically to participate in the seminar with the desire of sharing each one’s profound ideas.  I hope and wish that the scholars will stimulate our thoughts for lively discussions and help us to come to certain decisions which we will hold and will share with our people when we go back to our places.  May the Lord bless us with aspirations and hope for a new world where man can live hand in hand with one another as well as with the nature proclaiming the glory of God the Lord.

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