March 17, 2019

Is there a link between Christianity and our ecological crisis?

Elizabeth Parsons, 24

This image came to me in a half-waking, half-dream state of mind. The process of making it required humility, and was as meaningful to me as the end result. I created the cross from a rubbing of road. Road – something people walk on, drive over, trample and do not notice.
Yet, a road contains in its story: ecological destruction from over-development, exploitation of the natural world, and the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. We need to give this serious consideration: those least responsible for climate change are those most vulnerable to its worst impacts. Our carbon-intensive Western lifestyles are therefore violent, by a removed, distanced degree, so that it is possible for us not to notice.
Is this all Christianity has given us? ‘Filling in’ the charcoal pattern with pencil was laborious yet calming. The patience required reminded me of the message in the work. Ecological destruction is as painful as the crucifixion – but will there be a resurrection? We need Christian virtues of love, compassion and courage to allow this to happen.


Tarmac Cross
Charcoal and pencil on paper, A2.