Ecotheology and the theology of eating: controversies and convergencies

  • Panu Pihkala University of Helsinki
Keywords: Ecotheology, Environmentalism, Human-animal relationships, Food -- Ethical aspects, Food industry and trade, Animal rights, Food -- Religious aspects -- Christianity, Eating and meals, Diet, Cooking, Food habits, Nutrition, Vegetarianism


Environmental theology (or, ecotheology) developed slowly during the first half of the twentieth century and has become a major field of study since the late 1960s. While many of the issues discussed in ecotheological works have included consequences for food production and eating habits, these themes were often not explicitly discussed. The reasons for this are interesting and complex. Issues related to food have been culturally very sensitive and have manifold connections to religiosity. In regard to the discussion about the rights and value of animals, controversies have been seen to arise between ecotheology and ‘animal theology’. Recently, a new interest  has arisen in the themes of food, eating, and Christian theology, which has resulted in a new field of literature which could be called the ‘theology of eating’. This article gives an overview of the relations between these fields, with an emphasis on both early ecotheology and new literature about the theology of eating. 
Apr 13, 2015
How to Cite
Pihkala, P. (2015). Ecotheology and the theology of eating: controversies and convergencies. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 26, 64-81.