Sunday, September 2, 2007

Thoughts on Eco-Religion

The Environmentalist writes on the role of religion in the "green" movement.

...environmentalism is not a Hollywood intellectual property. While the environment may have become topic du jour for some and a near religious calling for others, it is a religious issue for this Grist list of 15 "green" religious leaders that includes: the Patriarch of Eastern Orthodoxy, the Dalai Lama, an Episcopal Reverend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Pope, the leader of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology, an Australian theologian, the head of the American Rabbis' Committee on the Environment, a Dominican Nun, a member of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, a Unitarian reverend, a Methodist theologian, and Father Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest who refers to himself as a 'Geologian.'

The comments on the Grist article are worthy of review, as well. They include suggestions for the list from other countries/world religions that are making a significant contribution.

And there's the robust environmental movement of South Asia (India, Nepal...) and Harvard's FORE (Forum on Religion and Ecology) research into the environmental traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Indigenous American Indians, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Which all goes to say that those who label environmentalism as a religion in the hope that it will invalidate the movement are as out of touch with reality as those who cite religion as an obstacle to environmentalism. The truth is the environmental movement is as diverse as humanity itself. It includes those who are deeply religious, those for whom the environment has become a religion, those who keep their religion to themselves while they seek to validate the science and those whose need to deny climate change may have become a religion, as well.

It is a global epiphany.

Read it all here.

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