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Floods of Light from Spiritual Ecology

What is the connection between modern-day spirituality and ecological concerns? How does the first century, Christian, Biblical world translate into ethical actions in the 21st century? How do the various world religions integrate their spirituality with ecology?

FORE is a good place to start finding answers. Mary Evelyn Tucker is the co-founder and co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology (FORE) at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies as well as the Yale Divinity School.

The Forum on Religion and Ecology takes a broad view of world religion and ecology. It is self described as “the largest international multireligious project of its kind. With its conferences, publications, and website it is engaged in exploring religious worldviews, texts, and ethics in order to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns.”

“The Forum recognizes that religions need to be in dialogue with other disciplines (e.g., science, ethics, economics, education, public policy, gender) in seeking comprehensive solutions to both global and local environmental problems.”

The Forum publishes a monthly online Newsletter and has videos on world religions and ecology; cosmology; issues in science and religion; environmental ethics; environmental justice, environmental economics and sustainability; ecofeminism, ecopsychology, environmental issues; environmental case studies; reflections on nature and society; and animals, nature and religion.

The Christian Advisory Board for the Forum includes:

John Chryssavgis Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
John Cobb Claremont School of Theology
Gordon Kaufman Harvard Divinity School
Sallie McFague Vancouver School of Theology
Rosemary Radford Ruether Pacific School of Religion, Graduate Theological Union

 

Observerers note that “a new force of religious environmentalism has emerged represented by both statements and action of the world’s religions regarding the moral nature of the ecological crisis.” This is now depicted in a film called Renewal, which highlights eight case studies of religious engagement with environmental issues in the United States. The movie is “a documentary [with] inspiring stories, available to people and organizations who want to be a part of this growing movement to protect life on our planet and reverse the damage that humans have done to the environment.” Here is a list of the eight segments:

  1. A Crime Against Creation – Evangelicals bear witness to mountaintop removal and the destruction of Appalachia  (11:20 min.) More »
  2. Going Green – GreenFaith in New Jersey helps congregations take the first steps to environmental action  (14:20 min) More »
  3. Food for Faith – Muslim tradition and charity forge bonds between urban communities and sustainable farms in Illinois  (14:50 min) More »
  4. Ancient Roots – The Teva Learning Center and Adamah in Connecticut bring environmental education together with Jewish tradition  (17:30 min) More »
  5. Compassion in Action – Green Sangha, a Buddhist community in northern California, leads a campaign to save trees  (11:10 min) More »
  6. Eco-Justice – The Holy Spirit inspires a battle against industrial contamination in small-town Mississippi  (11:30 min) More »
  7. Sacred Celebration – Catholics and Native Americans embrace religious ritual in a struggle to protect New Mexico’s land and water   (9:30 min) More »
  8. Interfaith Power and Light – Across America people of all faiths mount a religious response to global warming  (9:25 min) More »

We are forming an earth community and we have a common future.