An Olive Agenda: First thoughts on a metaphorical theology of development

by Steve de Gruchy

This paper proposes a theological engagement with a metaphor that could transcend the duality between the ‘green’  environmental agenda and the ‘brown’ poverty agenda that has disabled development discourse for the past twenty years.

The mix of green and brown suggests an olive agenda; which in turn provides a remarkably rich metaphor – the olive – that holds together that which religious and political discourse rends apart: earth, land, climate, labour, time, family, food, nutrition, health, hunger, poverty, power and violence.