Elaine Wainwright* offers an ecological reading of the Ash Wednesday readings Joel 2:12-18 and Matthew 6:1-6; 16-18.

Ash Wednesday is at the end of February (26th) and begins the season of Lent. The readings for this day are characterised by a call to conversion and this theme weaves through the six weeks of Lent. I have chosen the first reading Joel 2:12-18 and the Gospel Matthew 6:1-6,16-18 to begin our year of ecological readings of lectionary texts.

Reading biblical texts ecologically is an approach that is informed by the ecological consciousness emerging among many people in our world. It is about paying attention to the whole Earth community — the human characters and their relationships as well as the other-than-human, such as the land and animals, and to the presence or absence of right relations among these. It is a “critical” approach like other ethical approaches to reading the Scriptures such as feminist and postcolonial interpretations. The significant difference characterising an ecological approach is that the other-than-human relationships are often not explicit in the text — they’re encoded…

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Tui Motu Issue 245, February 2020 (PDF)


*Elaine Wainwright is a biblical scholar specialising in eco-feminist interpretation and is currently writing a Wisdom Commentary on Matthew’s Gospel.
Photo: Varieties of Vegetables by Lindsay Lenard obtained on Unsplash. Used with permission.