Enfleshed in Cosmos and Earth

Re-imagining the Depth of the Incarnation

in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
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Since Niels Gregersen used the term “deep incarnation” in 2001, it has been taken up by numerous ecotheologians in an effort to re-think the depth of the incarnation. Deep incarnation suggests that the incarnation demonstrates a divine embrace of not only the suffering of human bodies, but also of the pain and suffering of all creatures on Earth. While the framework of deep incarnation provides a foundation for a solid eco-Christology and ecological ethics, I suggest that the doctrine as it now stands continues to harbor hints of human exceptionalism that ecotheologies seek to eschew. I offer a critique of the metaphysical anthropocentrism contained within theologies of deep incarnation, suggesting that the doctrine does not go “deep” enough. Following this, I offer a non-anthropocentric understanding of the incarnation that frees the doctrine of the pitfalls of human exceptionalism. I do this by using a deconstructionist framework that posits that the vulnerability of Jesus allows us to view the incarnation as the divine embrace of all material vulnerability apart from the trappings of any normative epistemological framework based on a human horizon of understanding.



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