- Introduction: Religion and Ecology—What Is the Connection and Why Does It Matter?
- The Earth as Sacrament: Insights from Orthodox Christian Theology and Spirituality
- The World of Nature according to the Protestant Tradition
- Jainism and Ecology: Transformation of Tradition
- Hindu Religion and Environmental Well-being
- The Greening of Buddhism: Promise and Perils
- Daoism and Nature
- Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision
- Religion and Ecology in African Culture and Society
- Indigenous Traditions: Religion and Ecology
- Population, Religion, and Ecology
- Genetic Engineering and Nature: Human and Otherwise
- So Near and Yet So Far: Animal Theology and Ecological Theology
- Religious Ecofeminism: Healing the Ecological Crisis
- Science and Religion in the Face of the Environmental Crisis
- Religion and Ecology: Survey of the Field
- The Spiritual Dimension of Nature Writing
- Religion, Environmentalism, and the Meaning of Ecology
- Religious Environmentalism in Action
- Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America
- African Initiated Churches as Vehicles of Earth-Care in Africa
- The Scientist and the Shepherd: The Emergence of Evangelical Environmentalism
- Religion and Environmentalism in America and Beyond
Abstract and Keywords
In the post-chimurenga years of independent Zimbabwe, the African Initiated Churches (AICs) heeded the prophetic call to earth-keeping. They joined forces with practitioners of traditional religion—the chiefs, headmen, spirit mediums, and ex-combatants of the country's liberation struggle—and formed their own wing of the green army. Thus, under the auspices of the Zimbabwean Institute of Religious Research and Ecological Conservation, two religiously distinct movements—the Association of Zimbabwean Traditionalist Ecologists and the Association of African Earthkeeping Churches—joined forces to wage a new chimurenga, a struggle for the liberation of creation, particularly the rehabilitation of the degraded environment of Zimbabwe's overcrowded communal lands, under the banner “war of the trees.” In Zimbabwe and much of southern Africa today, the AICs total between 50 percent and 60 percent of African Christianity. This article focuses on Africa's green movement and ecotheology as well as earth-keeping initiatives such as tree planting.
Marthinus L. Daneel is emeritus professor of missiology at the University of South Africa; currently part-time professor of missions at Boston University School of Theology; codirector of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission; and director of the Ecumenical Foundation of Zimbabwe for ongoing research and development work in Zimbabwe. He studied and served African Initiated Churches in Zimbabwe for forty years. His numerous publications on AICs and African traditional religion include several rated as classics: God of the Matopo Hills; Quest for Belonging: Introduction to a Study of African Independent Churches; and Guerrilla Snuff (under the pseudonym Mafuranhunzi Gumbo)—the latter recently selected as one of the seventy-five classics of Zimbabwean literature of the twentieth century.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.