Original Research

Promoting the equality of the earth and humans using Keramat

Rachel Iwamony
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a3010 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.3010 | © 2024 Rachel Iwamony | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 September 2023 | Published: 28 February 2024

About the author(s)

Rachel Iwamony, Faculty of Theology, Universitas Kristen Indonesia Maluku, Ambon, Indonesia


Keramat refers to local popular concepts and practices in Indonesia that are applied to the earth and prevent people from freely exploiting the world. This article aimed to determine the values of Keramat concepts and practices that contribute to the understanding about humans and the earth for Christians by using a qualitative method. The results showed that two important values of the Keramat concepts and practices would transform and enhance the perspective of Christians about humans and the earth, with anthropocentrism being very strong. These values included humans and the earth, which were principally interdependent and interconnected to each other. From this article, it could be observed that the interaction patterns of these elements directly impacted the natives’ lives. This indicated that humans were positively influenced when living according to the effective taboos in Keramat concepts and practices. In this case, the control of needs was very necessary because of the existence of limitations in the usage of the earth’s resources. Besides, humans and the earth were also forms of life from the perspective of Keramat. This proved that the earth was not considered as a tool, medium or object capable of meeting the needs of all humans. However, based on the challenges of national development, the natives were powerless in protecting their Keramat areas, indicating that the local churches needed to be supportive in maintaining and sustaining the concepts and practices.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research could contribute to enhance echo-theological discourse in accordance with cultural anthropology.


earth; eco-theology; Keramat; sacred; sustainability.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 15: Life on land


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