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Ecotheology and the Idea of Forgiveness in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Abstract

The restoration of a proper relationship between humanity and nature is of great significance on the grounds that our contemporary society has become aware of an ecological crisis, caused by the human exploitation of the earth's resources. In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge opens up a possibility of restoring that relationship through the act of forgiving. In this article, I will show how the Mariner re-establishes his relationship with nature through forgiveness after his shooting of the albatross. His act of violence led to the experience of disconnectedness or isolation or separation from the community and God. He, however, achieves reconciliation with them by recognising the interrelatedness between them through the power of love and the act of interpretation. What he realised in the idea of interrelatedness is concerned not with hierarchy or dominance but with mutuality, caring and love. His awareness of the I-Thou relationship enabled the Mariner to forgive himself and to re-establish his broken relationship with the community, nature and God, which implies an ecotheological perspective.

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