Landscapes of Desire / Open the Kingdom for a Cottonwood Tree

Belden C. Lane

in Ravished by Beauty

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199755080
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894956 | DOI:
Landscapes of Desire / Open the Kingdom for a Cottonwood Tree

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This chapter ponders on the ethical implications of the proposal to include trees in the communion of saints. It suggests the following corollaries that flow naturally from the acceptance of a principle of inclusivity that welcomes trees into the community of the faithful: we must recognize trees as sharing an intimate, even sacramental relation with us in the Body of Christ; we must extend justice to the creatures that sustain human life, using their products with gratitude and respect; we must honor wood, whether cut or uncut; and we must attend, finally, to the distribution of gifts within the community of living beings, recognizing the unjust advantages enjoyed for so long by First-World humans.

Keywords: trees; communion of saints; Christian symbolism; sacramental relation; human life

Chapter.  3886 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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