The Preoriginal Gift—and Our Response to It

Anne Primavesi

in Ecospirit

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227457
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236626 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

The Preoriginal Gift—and Our Response to It

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In Sacred Gaia (2000) and again in Gaia's Gift (2003), the author explored the concept of “gift” while taking for granted that it involves more than simply an exchange of goods between two people. This chapter spells out, as precisely as possible, what this “more than” refers to. Briefly, it presupposes that gift is essentially a community event constituted by diverse inputs over time from the environments—natural, biological, and social— of giver and receiver. Within this extended framework, such events are best understood as instances of symbolic behavior that mediate and disclose more of the basic and evolving relationships between people and their lifeworlds than can be discerned in the immediate context of the gift itself or in its content. Potentially, the framework extends as far as earth's limits: or, if desired, beyond them to include the birth of our solar system and the life-giving power of the sun.

Keywords: gift; giving; nature; semantics; ownership; ecological theology

Chapter.  6433 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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