If Creation Is a Gift
What if our world were considered a gift? Extending postmodern gift theory to ecological and ecotheological concerns, Mark Manolopoulos explores how creation the what-is can be seen as a gift. Creation, when viewed in a radically egalitarian way, is the matrix of all material things human, otherwise-than-human, or humanly manufactured. Utilizing and critiquing the work of Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion, Manolopoulos argues that the gift is an irresolvable paradox marked by the contradictory elements of excess (gratuity, linearity) and exchange (gratitude, return). Philosophical and theological reflections on the gift become entangled in its paradoxical tension, but ultimately both aspects must be respected and reflected. When it comes to the creation-gift, we should vacillate between responses like letting-be, enjoyment, utility, and return. Elegantly written and thought-provoking, If Creation Is a Gift both contributes to the ongoing debate on the gift and provides a fresh philosophical and theological consideration of the environmental crisis.
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