Indigenous Theology: There is no Healing Apart from the Land

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Mark Macdonald in this third clip, reflects on the necessity of land for any sort of healing. Indigenous people placed in a western therapeutic context do not do well. The land is essential for healing, and also for the identity and resistance of indigenous people under the onslaught of western culture. Mark explains that for indigenous people the land is not inert. The Spirit infuses the land, there is personality, locality and unique relationship. Scripture describes this multifaceted relationship between creation and people but this understanding has been overtaken by a western mechanistic view which impedes human flourishing and has the capacity to destroy the earth.


Alan Roxburgh and Mark MacDonald wrestle with the question of response. They discuss how a genuinely Christian view of the moral and spiritual significance of creation is deeply challenging to western society and its global culture of money. This culture is not sustainable. There have been breakthroughs. Some environmental legal conversations now acknowledge the possibility that land, rivers, animals have rights. Christians must articulate their own ancient stories of land and people, but the time is short. Churches need to learn from Indigenous people and find elders who hold these stories, who have not been formed by western culture but by a pre-modern appreciation of human life in all its connectedness


Watch clips 1 and 2 from this conversation: An Indigenous Theology of Place and Land