Bridging Theologies of Environmental Justice

by Dominik Gautier

In my project, I want to look at the theological foundations of the environmental justice movement. In the 1980s, the Racial Justice Commission of the United Church of Christ pointed out that primarily Black people are exposed to the consequences of the destruction of nature in the U.S. To describe this context, the term environmental racism was established. The term environmental justice was developed to gain a perspective that focuses on both justice for nature and justice for people affected by racism. As Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Imeh Ituen and Tatu Hey recently noted, little attention is paid to the connection between racism and ecological destruction in German environmentalism, although environmental racism is a reality in Germany. The same is true for theological ethics in Germany. With respect to environmental justice, I want to make visible theological interconnections between the U.S. and Germany and sketch in an article how a theological ethics of environmental justice could look like in a German context. How did (Reformed) theologies of the natural world inform this perspective of the United Chruch of Christ? How does the environmental justice movement today change the way one thinks about God and working for justice?