Christian climate care: Slow change, modesty and eco-theo-citizenship


This qualitative study draws on in‐depth interviews and documentary analysis conducted between 2014 and 2016 to investigate the nature of pro‐environmental behaviour of members within the Eco‐Congregation Scotland network. We argue for an integrative analytical frame, that we call “eco‐theo‐citizenship,” which synthesises strengths of values‐, practice‐ and citizenship‐based approaches to the study of pro‐environmental behaviour within the specific context of religious envi- ronmental groups. This study finds the Eco‐Congregation groups studied are not primarily issue driven, and instead have an emphasis on “community‐building” activities and a concept of environmental citizenship which spans multiple politi- cal scales from local to international. Primary values emphasised included “envi- ronmental justice” and “stewardship.” Analysis of the data indicated that groups in this network are distinctive in two particular ways: (1) group focus on mobilis- ing values and environmental concern towards “community building” can produce what looks like a more conservative approach to climate change mobilisation, pre- serving and working slowly within institutional structures, with a primary focus not on climate change mitigation per se but on the consolidation and development of the community and broader network; and (2) these groups can often under‐report their accomplishments and the footprint of their work on the basis of a common religious conviction which we have termed a “culture of modesty.

Geo: Geography and Environment
Jeremy Kidwell
Jeremy Kidwell
Associate Professor in Theological Ethics

Ethicist, activist, hacker, ethnographer and eco-theologian. Interdisciplinary and unafraid.