Volume 10, Issue 2, May/August 2021
Anthony Uzochukwu Ufearoh
Igbo Eschatology and Environmentalism
The present work sets out to examine the intersection between Igbo eschatology and environmentalism. It seeks to determine how the tenets of Igbo eschatology impact on environmental conservation. The approach is conversational. Given that the work centers on a particular cultural area, an ethnic nationality in West Africa with unique cultural symbols, the paper also employs the tool of hermeneutics. It is discovered that the Igbo eschatology is characteristically this-worldly, cyclic and perceives human existence as continuous given the possibility of reincarnation. Accordingly, it impacts a sense of permanence or semi-immortality on the evanescent earthly existence thus rendering the optimism or motivation which environmentalism, a futuristic endeavor, demands. This is unlike an otherworldly, linear and terminal eschatology which forecloses the possibility of continuous existence and demotivates for the care of the environment. Secondly, given the animistic and this-worldly orientation, the symbolic presence of the eschata (new realities) such as the ancestors and spirits in the mundane world elevates the status and compels respect and care for nature or the environment. The paper therefore submits that the Igbo eschatology is pro-environmentalism.