An Examination of the Theological-Ethical Contributions of Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia to Creation Theology and Environmental Issues

Philip Kariatlis, ThD
Senior Lecturer
St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College

Abstract: Marked by a profound awareness of the gravity of the environmental crisis, Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia, already in 1990, published an important article on the Orthodox Christian vision on creation and the environment in an article, titled: ‘The Sacredness of Creation.’ This paper will explore some of the principal teachings of Harkianakis’ creation theology with a view towards highlighting some important insights for Orthodoxy’s engagement with environmental ethics. More specifically, this paper will highlight the Archbishop’s emphasis on the need for human beings to become partakers/communicants – and not consumers – of the world, namely, its gentle carers, so as to bring the entire created realm into God’s final kingdom. In so doing, the paper hopes to bring to the fore that Archbishop’s theology of creation merits the ongoing attention of those who are genuinely interested in the right use and ultimate transfiguration of the world.