Here I am: A Prolegomena to Theology of the Landscape
In his newest article published within the Primus/HUM/23 project, František Štěch explores landscape through a theological lens. What are the basic conditions enabling us to start thinking theologically about landscapes we live in? How these landscapes influence theology we do? If we are investigating theological turns in contemporary culture, we need to know our relations to contexts, places and landscapes where culture and theology dwells.
Theology of the landscape represents one of the possible ways of the human search for God. In this article, I would like to argue that people usually perceive their life not only in the context of the nature, environment, landscape or places they live in, but also in relation to reality transcending the immanence of the world. Therefore, the introductory passage deals with the biblical “here I am” phrase, which refers to one’s own complete context, to the specific place within a network of multiple relationships. One of them is certainly a relationship of human beings to nature, living together in the landscape that is a metaphor of their mutual coexistence, a space of their mutual dialogue and creative encounter. Therefore, landscape could be seen as space organized from places where religious experience is lived and interpreted. Consequently, the first part of my article asks for a deeper understanding of the human – landscape relationship, and the second offers a preliminary thought on the theology of the landscape. Landscape is presented theologically as a liturgical space, where salvific revelation is perceived, incarnation is lived, resurrection confessed, and the eschatological coming expected. Landscape is the space where God – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit – is invoked and experienced.