This chapter from the student-written book “Emerging Perspectives on Religion and Environmental Values in America” explores how love and care impact how people interact with the environment, and how spirituality views and impacts this. It discusses how religion encourages love and how love encourages environmentalism, and how the three work together. Below is the first paragraph of the chapter to introduce the discussion.
"My mother had one general rule for me as I was growing up: to respect others, respect myself, and respect the environment. Obviously there were more rules that fell under this— 'clean the dishes after school' being one I was just as frequently reminded of—but they all fell under this principle in some form. This was also the basis of my environmental education: respecting the environment, showing it the care, love and awe that it deserved, was a fundamental aspect of our lives. Every time we would go outside or take a hike, I would be reminded not to touch anything I didn’t have to, to leave things the way I found them, and to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. These ideas of respecting others and your surroundings are common themes in religious doctrines as well—'love thy neighbor' is a common refrain, and one that is often used in religious environmental arguments. As can be seen in many religious statements on environmental crises, protecting those less fortunate than yourself (respecting others) and protecting the gift of creation (respecting the environment) are the focal points of religious arguments in support of environmental action. Yet the love of nature is often underappreciated or overlooked when it comes to discussions of the environment, despite its universality. Perhaps because the concept is emotional rather than scientific, love is more easily dismissed as a weak persuader, but because it is so basic to humans it stands to be one of the more powerful forces we have available to us. As a common religious and moral value, the love and respect that people are asked to treat their surroundings with is a significant driver in environmentalism, both to better understand the environment and to create a sense of responsibility in preserving it."
This chapter from the student-written book “Emerging Perspectives on Religion and Environmental Values in America” explores the relationship between political affiliation and environmental values, as well as the stereotypes surrounding them. It examines how religion interacts with political views and the evolution of environmental values thoughout political and religious history. Below is the first paragraph of the chapter to introduce the discussion.
"The conception of someone who is 'anti-environment' usually evokes one of two images: 1) a fat cat in a suit, smoking a cigar while lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry, or 2) a truck-driving rural American scoffing at the Prius-driving liberals in the cities who preach about their recycling practice. This chapter focuses on the second image...The distinction has been made clear in our minds: liberals care about the environment and conservatives don’t. This, along with another common conception that conservatives are religious while liberals aren’t, paints an inaccurate picture that drives religious conservatives out of the environmental conversation. How did this happen?"
A date tree planted in Ketura, Israel from 2000 year old seeds found at an archeological site in the Judean wilderness has finally bore fruit earlier this month (September 2020). The harvest was hailed a modern miracle of science. “In these troubled times of climate change, pollution and species dying out at alarming rates, to bring something back to life from dormancy is so symbolic,”... Date palms were praised in the Bible and the Quran, and became symbols of beauty, precious shade and succulent plenty.
The Global Oneness Project was founded in 2006 as an initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation, and is focused on education aimed a planting seeds of empathy, resilience, and a sacred relationship to our planet. They are passionate about the power of stories and offer a rich library of multimedia stories comprised of award-winning films, photo essays, and essays as well as companion curriculum and discussion guides focused on world culture, social justice and sustainability.
Buddhists Monks in the Himalayas are taking a stand to climate change. On Earth Day 2018, thousands of people came together in the village of Yerat to plant trees. The region is rapidly losing glaciers, causing a shortage in water supply to the villages in the area who rely on snowmelt for water. The volunteers were inspired to participate due to their devotion to His Holiness Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche and his vision for "a more verdant and organic Ladakh."
This article covers Pope Francis's reaction to the world governments responses to climate change. The Pope writes to unite people through religion in an effort to bring awareness to the movement. The article details how the church is divesting in fossil fuel companies. The article also focuses on the political divide and how it affects people's views on the climate crisis.
There has been a recent rise in the popularity of houseplants. This resource relates aspects of tending to houseplants to different ways you can be more mindful about your own life. Through caring for the houseplants, this web page reminds you to be adaptable, to be patient, and to expand yourself. While also additionally reminding the reader that letting go and paying attention to your physical health are both key in positive personal growth.
This video is the Dalai Lama speaking of how to calm ones mind as well as how to connect with the universe through inter connection of self and creation.
Indigenous peoples steward 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity, yet their voices are often excluded from decision-making. Moreover, such environmental defenders remain a vulnerable group that is troubled by intimidation and torture. In this article, the authors cover a few organizations, such as Nature for Life Hub and Youth4Nature, established to empower and defend the voices of indigenous peoples, local communities, and the youths.
MPV (Muslims for Progressive Values) establishes and nurtures vibrant progressive Muslim communities. We do this by creating opportunities for religious discourse, volunteer and community activities, and cultural events bringing together the arts, spirituality, and social activism.
Since our inception, we have secured DPI and ECOSOC Special Consultative Status at the U.N., and a founding member of the Alliance of Inclusive Muslims, or AIM, an umbrella organization spanning 13 countries and 17 cities.
MPV is a progressive Muslim voice on contemporary issues. We voice our perspectives with policy briefs, by participating in civil discourse, engaging with the media and government entities, and by partnering with both Muslim and non-Muslim progressive organizations.
MPV promotes theologically-sound frameworks for Islamic liberalism. We seek to reinvigorate the Islamic tradition of ijtihad (critical engagement and interpretation of sacred texts) and intellectual discourse. We do this by collaborating with religious scholars and developing position papers on theological issues that are accessible to a wide audience.
Muslims for Progressive Values has been in existence since 2007. Quietly and diligently, we have been building our progressive community, one city at a time, and now one country at a time. Since its inception, MPV has expanded to include communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Atlanta, Columbus (OH), New York, Chicago, Boston, Minnesota and The Netherlands.
As a part of the Equator Initiative and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), the Nature-Based Solutions Database connects communities through sharing thousands of viable eco-solutions from 500+ communities across five continents.
Explore the Solutions Database to learn how outstanding local communities and indigenous peoples around the world are making possible the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through nature-based actions.
Jerry Freewalt is Director of the Office for Social Concerns of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. In this capacity, he serves as an educator and advocate to further the understanding of the Church’s social justice teachings. Jerry joined the office in 1995 as the respect life coordinator. Jerry also administers the respect life program, parish social ministry, rural life, jail and prison ministry, advocacy for persons with disabilities, and other education and advocacy efforts.
Let's Talk Faith and Climate: Communication Guidance for Faith Leaders is designed to be useful to both experienced and novice climate change and faith communicators. This guide synthesizes the latest academic research and message testing on climate communications from across the social sciences into a practical guide to support meaningful discussions on climate change and faith among individuals and groups.
This guide offers tips on how to initiate new conversations with the faithful, how to create one’s own successful, value-based messages, and how to utilize specific wording that has been tested for its ability to bring people together regarding climate issues. Additionally, this document provides guidance on how to more deeply integrate creation care concerns into one’s own organization, ministry, or denomination.
This, along with the many resources offered by ecoAmerica’s
Blessed Tomorrow program, will allow faith leaders to become as adept at talking about climate change as they are at inspiring others to act on behalf of our shared future.
The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (CCAO) was founded in 1985 as the national advocacy office for the Missionary Society of St. Columban in the United States.
CCAO serves as the line of communication between Columban missionaries on the ground and policy-makers in Washington, D.C. Their mission is to work towards a more just, peaceful, and environmentally sustainable world by engaging in the political process guided by our faith and the Gospel. They work for structural change for the poor and marginalized populations Columbans serve around the world. Moreover, they advocate for policies and structures that bring society and the world into the right relationships with all of God’s Creation.
CCAO follows Catholic Social Teaching as their lens to engage in legislative advocacy and community engagement.
This is a statement from Parliament of the World's Religions on coming together as a world to become more sustainable and care for the Earth. The text showcases their commitment to a culture of sustainability and care for the Earth, their support for gender equality, human rights, and a just economic order.
Texas Impact exists to put faith into action. They equip faith leaders and their congregations with the information, opportunities, and outreach tools to educate their communities and engage with lawmakers on pressing public policy issues. They are an interfaith group that works together on issues such as racial discrimination, climate change, economic justice, and human rights that impact the most vulnerable people in our communities.
The Interfaith Center is Texas Impact’s 501(c)(3) research and education partner. The Interfaith Center’s board includes thought leaders; government affairs professionals; public servants; and communications experts. They provide the political insight and guidance that help Texas Impact offer clear, relevant, information that faith communities need to be effective advocates.
COVID has changed the way we eat, cook and live in many ways — good and bad. This discussion hosted by FEZANA (the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America) focuses on the impact of the pandemic on the food supply chain, and how it affected the availability of the basics, leading people to get more creative in the kitchen. Everything from making our own bread to using leftovers to create new unexpected meals, has allowed people to ramp up their cooking skills, rely on sustainability and be more conscious of food wastage. Historically resembling the ways of our ancestors.
The Living Chapel is expanding outreach for Laudato Si' Gardens to spaces managed by schools, governmental and non-governmental organizations encouraging participation in caring for our common home by supplying indigenous young plant species to various regions. This project distributes young plants throughout Italy for the recovery of degraded areas.
Outside Italy, Laudato Si’ Gardens shared a Four Element Package that symbolizes Air, Earth, Water, and Fire.
The Living Chapel holds the sacrality of life at its core. It embodies a call to hope: a hope for a world in which the sacrality of life is truly recognized and felt by every being to give rise to a kinder, more compassionate, more peaceful life.
In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Plant for the Planet, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the Living Chapel will join the UN Environmental Programme's One Trillion Tree Movement, inspiring the public to reconnect with nature and providing a vehicle for intercultural and interfaith collaboration to restore our common home through the creation of Laudato Si' Gardens and Living Sacred Spaces.
Ramadan is a time to reflect, exercise self-control, and cultivate connections to one's faith. This three-part toolkit hopes to enhance the Ramadan experience using those same concepts but building more environmentally friendly habits while connecting one
with their faith in a unique way.
Each day highlights an Ayah, a quote, or a hadith that aspires to inspire you to action. The “challenge yourself” section of the day gives you a suggestion on how to adjust your habits, and the “reflection” section hopes to help you analyze your current habits in order to make the habit-forming both action-oriented and intellectual.
The mission of the Giving Grove is to provide healthy calories, strengthen community and improve the urban environment through a nationwide network of sustainable little orchards to dramatically increase access to healthy food.
The Giving Grove envisions:
- thousands of little orchards in food insecure urban neighborhoods across the nation;
- a system of local food production that feeds people for decades;
- a national network of neighborhood stewards trained in holistic methods for growing fruit; and
- urban neighborhoods transformed by their own work and generosity.
Interfaith Cincy seeks out religious groups and the services they provide in order to enable them to expand their capacity. The website provides a communication network for individuals to share success stories and their best ideas. We use our academic resources to objectively represent the variety of organizations that we have encountered in a growing directory.
InterfaithCincy.org is also an educational tool designed to strengthen interfaith dialogue.
The Laudato Si' Action Platform is a collaboration between the Vatican, an international coalition of Catholic organizations, and "all people of good will." Rooted in the strengths and realities of communities around the world, the platform takes a group-up approach to empower all to take "decisive action, here and now" as we journey towards a better future together.
The platform offers:
- Laudato Si Plans for institutions, communities, and families to use and implement their response to Laudato Si'
- A process-oriented approach
- Practical guidance on actions that help build a better future through the Laudato Si’ Goals
- Recognition of progress
The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) is a foundation founded in the United Kingdom committed to the preservation of the Earth as a healthy environment for all living things. This is also a call on Muslims to live up to their obligations as guardians of Allah's creation (Khalaifa - Qur'an 6:165) and endeavor to ensure that future generations inherit a livable planet.
"Our exertions since the mid-1980s have been directed towards creating mass awareness and include research, the production of teaching materials, training, and project development and we offer this work as a gift to our fellow humans whoever and wherever they may be."