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5 - Public Theology – ‘Grounded’: An Energy Policy Rooted in Human Flourishing

from Part I - Multidisciplinary Perspectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2019

Marc Ozawa
Affiliation:
Energy Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge
Jonathan Chaplin
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Michael Pollitt
Affiliation:
Judge Business School, Cambridge
David Reiner
Affiliation:
Judge Business School, Cambridge
Paul Warde
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

This chapter sets out the contribution to ‘good energy policy’ that might be forthcoming from the (perhaps unfamiliar) field of ‘public theology’. It argues that an environmental public theology would commend a ‘grounded’ energy policy – one rooted in an explicit conception of a ‘good’ or ‘virtuous’ human life. After defining ‘public theology’, it identifies five convergent stances relevant to energy policy that seem to be emerging today among representative of most world religions: (i) nature as a ‘divine’ ordering marked by integration, equilibrium and harmony rather than as infinitely exploitable; (ii) a call for human ‘stewardship’ of nature; (iii) an acceptance of climate science and an urgent call to shift away from fossil fuels; (iv) scepticism towards unlimited economic growth and its attendant ‘consumerism’; (v) locating energy questions within a broader commitment to a just social order characterised by both an equitable global distribution of access to energy and a decentralisation of energy supply (‘environmental subsidiarity’).

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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