Ecological ethics in the theological teaching of Arat Sabulungan in Mentawai Island Indonesia


  • Silfia Hanani Sociology, Departement of Religious Sosciology, Fakulty of Islamic Studies/Ushuluddin Adab and Dakwah, State Islamic Institute of Bukittinggi, Bukittinggi, West Sumatera 26181, Indonesia
  • Nelmaya Philosophy, Departement of Theology of Islamic Philosophy, Fakulty of Islamic Studies/ Ushuluddin Adab and Dakwah, State Islamic Institute of Bukittinggi, Bukittinggi, West Sumatere 26181, Indonesia


Arat Sabulungan, ecological ethics, Mentawai Island, theology, traditional


Arat Sabulungan is the local belief or religion of Mentawai community. The fundamental teaching of this religion emphasizes the harmonious relationship between humans, spirits, and nature. This religion believes that every single space and place is inhabited by spirits. They are bound everywhere, so it is necessary to uphold good and ethical behavior in the surrounding nature. Corrupt acts against nature will disturb the peace of the spirits, which will in turn bring calamities and disruptions to life. Viewed as the dwelling place of the spirits, nature should be well kept through ecological ethics taught by Arat Sabulungan. In addition, since nature is the center of this religious teaching, corrupting it means corrupting the body and life itself. The global world today is experiencing an environmental crisis caused by the disappearance of ecological ethic due to exploitation of nature for the greatest benefit of materialism. Unlike most modern people, the Mentawai people treat nature as treating themselves to maintain harmony because nature is a dwelling place of the spirits. The principle is that harming nature is similar to harming yourself. In the present context, such theology has obvious implications for the preservation of the environment, nature, forest, so that global environmental crises can be minimized. Therefore, the theology of the Mentawai people in maintaining the forest should be appreciated and maintained.


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