K.E. Løgstrups «kosmofenomenologi» som en utgångspunkt för kristen miljöetik

  • Anders Melin


In this artide I discuss whether the «cosmophenomenology» put forward in the later writings of the Danish theologian and philosopher K.E. Løgstrup is fruitful as a starting-point for Christian environmental ethics. His cosmophenomenology is an extension of the phenomenological approach to include our relationship to reality as a whole and not only our relationship to other humans. Løgstrup develops his cosmophenomenology mainly in Ophav og omgivelse (1984) where he argues that nature is the source of humans and not only our environment. A central element of the cosmophenomenology is the analysis of sensation. Løgstrup argues that sensation is without distance since we do not perceive any difference between our sensation and the objects of our sensation. The distance we experience is created by language and the understanding it gives rise to and not by sensation in itself.

I argue that the cosmophenomenological approach is interesting since it highlights the close affinity between humans and nature. However, this feature makes it difficult to justify prioritization between humans and other lifeforms. Therefore I conclude that the cosmophenomenological approach needs to be supplemented by other perspectives. Eschatology is one aspect of the Christian doctrine that I think is important for Christian environmental ethics. An eschatological perspective tells us that this world is not yet our true home. Therefore it justifies prioritization since it points out that we never can realize a completely harmonious relationship to nature in our present state. At the same time eschatology tells us that also nature has a potential for completion and that we should leave room for the development of other species.