GREEN CHRISTIAN’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE Building Back Greener, which took place in Birmingham on 7-8 October, explored the need for a new approach to economics.

Speakers surveyed principles for economics and consumption rooted in the Christian tradition, such as sufficiency and justice. These contrasted starkly with the vision of “growth, growth, growth”, set out by Prime Minister Liz Truss at last week’s Conservative Party conference, also in Birmingham. The principles underpin Green Christian’s Joy in Enough project and Plenty!, a training programme aimed at churches and groups of Christians which was launched in June 2021.

The speakers included:

  • writer Paul Kingsnorth, a former deputy editor of The Ecologist, who warned of grave societal threats posed by technology;
  • Christopher Southgate, a theology professor based at Exeter University, who gave an Introduction to his view of Green Theology with particular reference to climate change;
  • Molly Scott-Cato, Professor of Green Economics at Roehampton University and a former Green MEP, who spoke about the need for “system change, not climate change”, and for an emphasis on well-being rather than continual and unsustainable economic growth.

In a series of workshops, participants considered Christianity’s historic engagement with economic issues such as tax, debt, inequality, tenants’ rights, consumption and the dignity of labour. The Joy in Enough project team plan to take forward insights on the economy gained at the conference to challenge policy makers and church leaders to promote a new economy based not on ever-increasing consumption but on what Kathryn Tanner has described as God’s “economy of grace”.

In a post-conference statement, Professor Tim Cooper, a trustee of Green Christian and former researcher at the New Economics Foundation, said “an uncritical approach to economic growth does not align well with the teachings of Christ and the New Testament epistles, which warn of materialism and call for an ethic of sufficiency.”

Green Christian (formerly Christian Ecology Link) works with people of all faiths and none to care for creation and inspire others to do the same. Joy in Enough is a Green Christian project which is a challenge to Christians in Britain, and an invitation to all people of good will, to join in building a just economy within the ecological limits of the Earth.

* Source: Green Christian