Christological Foundations for an Ecological Ethic: Learning from Bonhoeffer

Bibliographic information:

Burkholder, Benjamin J. “Christological Foundations for an Ecological Ethic: Learning from Bonhoeffer.” Scottish Journal of Theology 66, no. 3 (August 2013): 338-56.



The recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in the desire to craft Christian theology in a way that makes it more amenable to environmental concerns. In particular, the aspects of Christian theology that have been seen as most problematic in fostering environmental concern, such as anthropology, soteriology and eschatology, have been reworked in various ways to cultivate concern for the environment. In this process, some are willing to go further than others and suggest significant changes in the Christian tradition, including its Christology. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, working a couple of decades before ecological concern became common parlance among theologians, manages to craft a theological and ethical approach that is sensitive to ecological concerns while retaining large portions of the Christian tradition. At the bedrock of Bonhoeffer’s theology is a Christology that allows him to craft anthropology, soteriology, eschatology, and ethics toward environmental responsibility.


Scottish Journal of Theology (website:

Leave a Comment