Ecology and Human Flourishing: Theological Insights from an Urban Community Garden in Western Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Olabimtan, Kehinde Olumuyiwa
  • This three-part dissertation addresses the perceived indifference of a large segment of the Christian community to the ecological crisis of our time and suggests how they can experience heartfelt love and commitment toward God’s creation. It is premised on the belief of the American poet and farmer Wendell Berry that commitment to God’s creation, especially as represented by the land, is a matter of the heart. To this end, the first part of the dissertation explores the foundations eco-theologians have laid by applying theoretical, exegetical, and scientific data to establish the theological significance of God’s creation. The second part is a series of idiographic studies that used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to study a group of gardeners in Western Canada who reported on the significance of interacting with nature and people in a community garden. Their experiences, which varied according to the needs and challenges that brought them to the garden, indicated three outcomes of reflective gardening: the finding of community, the experience of growth as needed, and the realization of meaning. With no pretensions of universalizing the lived experience of the gardeners, the third part draws from the idiographic studies to gain insights into how community gardening can train the minds of the Christian faithful to love God’s creation through association, concluding with theological reflections on the significance of the ecological environment for our well-being and our Christian vision of the present life.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Ministry
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    St. Stephen's College
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mundel, Dittmar
    • Berkenbosch, Roy
    • Ferber, Michael