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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 extraordinary and traditionally remarkable upward thrust of non secular environmentalism is a profound resource of desire. Theologians are improving nature-honoring parts of conventional religions and forging daring new theologies connecting devotion to God and non secular fact with love for God's construction and take care of the Earth. and non secular humans in the course of the international are reworking the that means in their faiths within the face of the environmental quandary. The successes and importance ofreligious environmentalism are occur in statements by means of leaders of just about all of the world's religions, in new and "green" prayers and rituals, and in subtle criticisms of contemporary society's economic climate, politics, and tradition. From the Evangelical Environmental community to the Buddhist major minister of Mongolia, the nationwide Council of church buildings to tree-planting campaigns in Zimbabwe, spiritual environmentalism has turn into a robust portion of the area environmental stream.

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30 m A Greener Faith m A good deal of what has been described so far, especially in the Western religious idea of nature as creation, and the consequent human responsibility to and limitations in regard to nature, has been described as a “stewardship” model of environmental concern. We have dominion over God’s property and must treat it—like a priceless set of tools given to us by a loving Father— with respect and care. 43 How much exploitation is responsible and how much is excessive? What makes sense and what is just, well, too much?

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?

Once the world is viewed as the product of a transcendent, immaterial “sky God,” White wrote, once holiness is removed from our surroundings and transferred without residue to their Source, the way is paved for using those surroundings any way we wish. 9 White’s criticism is echoed in an even wider generalization by Steven Rockefeller: “The social and moral traditions that have been dominant in the West . . have not involved the idea that animals, trees, or the land in their own right, as distinct from their owners or their Creator, have moral standing.

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