Environment

Download A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet's by Roger S. Gottlieb PDF

By Roger S. Gottlieb

In a time of darkening environmental clients, scary non secular fundamentalism, and moribund liberalism, the outstanding and traditionally unheard of upward thrust of non secular environmentalism is a profound resource of desire. Theologians are getting better nature-honoring parts of conventional religions and forging daring new theologies connecting devotion to God and religious fact with love for God's production and deal with the Earth. and non secular humans through the international are remodeling the that means in their faiths within the face of the environmental hindrance. The successes and importance ofreligious environmentalism are take place in statements through leaders of just about all of the world's religions, in new and "green" prayers and rituals, and in subtle criticisms of recent society's financial system, politics, and tradition. From the Evangelical Environmental community to the Buddhist top minister of Mongolia, the nationwide Council of church buildings to tree-planting campaigns in Zimbabwe, spiritual environmentalism has turn into a robust element of the realm environmental move.

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Further, the many biblical passages in which humans in general or the Israelites in particular are separated from the natural world—given “dominion,” allowed to name, encouraged to multiply, given special responsibilities and Religion, Nature, Environment m 23 covenants—create a profound sense of alienation between humans and the natural world. The Bible, it is argued, simply does not direct us to respect the earth or love its creatures. Although ecological critics of the Bible have been many, it has also had its defenders, who argue that antinature readings seriously obscure both the complexity of the Bible and its many positive resources for environmentalism.

But How are we to feel God’s presence, or a truly spiritual joy, in the face of what is going on? Theologically, we can attribute all of this mess to mistaken human choices, to selfishness or sin, but such a theology doesn’t do much to ease my deep sadness when I confront a dead lake or otters drenched in spilled oil. How am I to feel joy in existence when existence is such a mess? And if I cannot feel that, all in all, this world—despite everything—is holy, then what kind of religious life will I be left with?

For most theologians . . the theological focus has been on sin and salvation, the fall and redemption, the divine-human relationship over against the biophysical world as a whole. ”45 Once again its centrality to Western culture in general and capitalist industrialism in particular requires us to examine Christianity in some detail. Over the centuries, the dominant interpretation of Christianity developed an increasingly disdainful attitude toward human physical existence and, as a consequence, toward the sheer physicality of the rest of nature as well.

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