Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.
Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)
Gold mining in the Western Region of Ghana poses a major dilemma. On the one hand, it serves as a great source of revenue for the region and the country at large. It also provides employment for millions of people. On the other hand, indiscriminate gold mining methods destroy ecological resources like land, water, and air, as well as the quality of life of people in the region. Consequently, the negative impacts of these environmentally hostile practices challenge us to re-evaluate our relationship with the environment. It is a call not to see the environment and its resources as something to be exploited for selfish benefits. Rather, it is an invitation to cultivate a relationship of responsibility toward the environment. Therefore, we have a duty to be stewards of the whole of God’s creation by fostering care for the environment in the Western Region.
My main argument in this thesis is that some gold mining methods employed in the Western Region, such as using toxic chemicals like mercury and cyanide, which destroy the environment, are an undeniable case of ecological sin. As such, there is a need for ecological conversion to reverse the situation. I argue further that African ecological spirituality offers the resources needed for ecological conversion. The values of abundant life, community, and interconnectedness of creation which are key components of African ecological spirituality, are powerful tools for caring for the environment.
The exemplarist approach to virtue demonstrates how real-life people influence others through their life and examples to become role models. I use this approach to show how we can all be inspired to become stewards of the environment by interiorizing the values of African ecological spirituality.
Agyapong, Nana Kofi, "African Spirituality for Ecological Conversion: The Case of Mining in the Western Region of Ghana" (2023). Jesuit School of Theology Dissertations. 106.
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