Sir Rowan Williams compared the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist, who notoriously castigated world leaders for “stealing her childhood and her dreams” to prophet Jeremiah, who spoke from the Lord against the powers that be.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Rowan Williams, has likened Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to biblical prophets.
During the ecumenical Korsvei festival in Seljord, Norway, which Sir Rowan attended via a video link, he was asked about Greta Thunberg within the topic of living prophetically.
“God has raised up a prophet in Greta Thunberg in a way that no one could predict. She has said things that no one else could have said. Thank God for her!”, he said, as quoted by the newspaper Vårt Land.
Furthermore, he called Thunberg “a very good example of a prophetic voice” and compared her to Prophet Jeremiah, claiming that she was raised as a young person to speak to the nations. Lastly, he said he admired her “enormously”.
According to participant Simon Korsmoe, the question about Greta Thunberg was asked during Williams’s Bible lesson about prophet Jeremiah.
“Jeremiah was not accepted because he spoke clearly from the Lord against the powers that be. Earthly power and spiritual purity are often in conflict,” Korsmoe said, adding that Williams “saw that parallel right away”.
© AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino
Incidentally, this is not the first time Thunberg has been compared to biblical figures. This simile has been used before, most notably by Archbishop of Sweden Antje Jackelén. The Church of Sweden even landed in controversy after calling Thunberg “Jesus’s successor”.
Rowan Douglas Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, is a Welsh Anglican bishop, theologian and poet. He served as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury from December 2002 to December 2012. He is known for his support of the environmental cause and in October 2018 he signed the call to action supporting Extinction Rebellion, a global civil disobedience movement.
Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate and environmental activist from Sweden, rose to international fame and recognition across the world through her one-person Friday climate strikes and emotional speeches at the UN. She has since risen to become a climate icon and the figurehead of a worldwide movement, enjoying nearly undivided media attention and adoration.
At the tender age of 18, Thunberg has been basking in accolades, prizes and trophies, appearing on front covers multiple times and rubbing elbows with politicians and celebrities.