For the most part, the worldviews associated with the Western Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have created a dominantly human-focused morality. At the same time as religions foster awe and reverence for nature, they may provide the transforming energies for ethical practices to protect endangered ecosystems, threatened species, and diminishing resources.
Thomas Berry suggests that we have become autistic in our interactions with the natural world. Moreover, what is still lacking is the religious commitment, moral imagination, and ethical engagement to transform the environmental crisis from an issue on paper to one of effective policy, from rhetoric in print to realism in action.
We hope that these volumes will be simply a beginning of further study of conceptual and symbolic resources, methodological concerns, and practical directions for meeting this environmental crisis.
In short, religious traditions may help to supply both creative resources of symbols, rituals, and texts as well as inspiring visions for reimagining ourselves as part of, not apart from, the natural world.
The religious traditions may indeed be critical in helping to reimagine the viable conditions and long-range strategies for fostering mutually enhancing human-earth relations.
These elements are continually in tension, a condition which creates the great variety of thought and interpretation within religious traditions. To articulate in clear and moving terms a desirable mode of human presence with the earth; in short, to highlight means of respecting and valuing nature, to note what has already been actualized, and to indicate how best to achieve what is desirable beyond these examples.
Man thinks he can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which man can indeed develop but must not betray. The reasons may not be readily apparent, but clearly they require further exploration and explanation.
I recall vividly my visit to Lesvos, together with Your Holiness and His Beatitude Hieronymos II, to express our common concern for the plight of the migrants and refugees there. Religions provide basic interpretive stories of who we are, what nature is, where we have come from, and where we are going.
A final caveat is the inevitable gap that arises between theories and practices in religions. Why the Environment Is a Religious Issue. This comprises a worldview of a society.
In fact, an abundant supply of resources can produce a population boom that ends up with more individuals than the environment can support. Indeed, if it did not, it would not be addressing the root causes of the issues to their fullest extent.
We are, then, keenly interested in the contribution this series might make to discussions of environmental policy in national and international arenas. Rather, it is our task to explore these conceptual resources so as to broaden and expand our own perspectives in challenging and fruitful ways.
This Earth Charter initiative is under way with the leadership of the Earth Council and Green Cross International, with support from the government of the Netherlands. Religions also suggest how we should treat other humans and how we should relate to nature.
In the Argentine Patagoniafor example, European species such as the trout and the deer were introduced into the local streams and forests, respectively, and quickly became a plague, competing with and sometimes driving away the local species of fish and ruminants.
Indeed, as Thomas Berry has so aptly pointed out, if the human is to continue as a viable species on an increasingly degraded planet, what is necessary is a comprehensive reevaluation of human-earth relations.
In the field of the study of world religions, we have seen this as a timely challenge for scholars of religion to respond as engaged intellectuals with deepening creative reflection.
To identify the minimum common ground on which to base constructive understanding, motivating discussion, and concerted action in diverse locations across the globe; and to highlight the specific religious resources that comprise such fertile ecological ground:It would hardly be helpful to describe symptoms without acknowledging the human origins of the ecological crisis.
A certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the. The Challenge of the Environmental Crisis Ours is a period when the human community is in search of new and sustaining relationships to the earth amidst an environmental crisis that threatens the very existence of all life-forms on the planet.
As the popular author Wendell Berry has stated it, our ecological crisis is a crisis of character, not a political or social crisis Enlightened self-interest alone is not sufficient motivation for fallen human beings to deny gratification and sacrifice desires.
The religion of consumerism is a spiritual problem, and we must fight fire with fire. The ecological crisis now affecting all of humanity is ultimately rooted in the human heart, that aspires to control and exploit the limited resources of our planet, while ignoring the vulnerable members of the human family.
Pope encyclical on ‘ecological crisis’ asks us to examine our deepest values and beliefs June 18, pm EDT Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan.
Ecological crisis rooted in the human heart: Francis Published: 08 June The ecological crisis now affecting all of humanity is ultimately rooted in the human heart, Pope Francis said in a message to an international symposium on caring for the planet.Download