Decoloniality, Ecology and Sustainability


  • Wanda Deifelt



Colonialism has left a long shadow over the Latin American continent. Among its many side-effects are environmental degradation and a population struggling to maintain itself in sustainable ways. Exploitation of natural resources, enslavement of people, and the elimination of indigenous populations are among its painful consequences. Colonialism refers not only to economic disparities and ecological threats but also includes a mentality of empire that assails us even in our dreams. To a great extent, religion served as ideological scaffolding, to justify the sacrifices required from the least and the last. While the entire creation groans in pain, humanity can no longer obsess with mainstream views of development and theological discourses that condone it. Rather, instead of despair, we are invited to envision sustainable ways of dwelling on the land, embracing ways of life that honor the intersection between economic, environmental, and social wellbeing. To enable this, it is paramount to reclaim theological discourses and practices that ensure life in abundance and affirm the dignity of all human beings. This can be done by using an ecological approach – studying the oikos, the house and the multiple households we inhabit: our personal bodies, social bodies, and the body of the entire creation.