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Anita Goldman: So can religion play a role in the climate crisis

In the easter meet all our Greta Thunberg the pope in Rome. Spring and resurrection time, christians around the world celebrate that life wins over death, at the same time with the jewish celebration of pesach – the exodus from Egypt, the journey from slavery to freedom. It is super-tough stories about hope, about the necessity of lifting it from the familiar perspective, if the to venture to a different path. It is images that speak to billions of people.

Greta Thunberg for their message in a secular coinages, but her moral pathos and their views on responsibility for the future and the creation is fundamentally biblical. Miljörörelserna has always had a closer relationship to the spiritual than other radical social and political movements. Since their emergence in the mid-1800s, then as konservationistiska movements (preservation of wilderness), has the environmental community expressed a message of moral regeneration, meaning, unity, wonder, awe. Henry David Thoreau and his contemporaries saw in nature, ”God's temple”. Perhaps the modern and young, the environmental movement does not need to be intimidated by such a spiritual tone, but instead see it as a resource for in-depth understanding and endurance.

the role in the necessary transformation in the klimatkrisens track? It is only religious institutions among established organisations with real conviction, and with any views to be listened to, can assert that there is a meaning to life beyond accumulation and growth.

Read more: Björn Wiman: the pope Has a funny hat? Yes, but also a good climate policy

So says Bill McKibben, the founder of the organization 350.org, the author of a number of groundbreaking books on the climate crisis and one of the world's foremost environmentalists. And Jürgen Habermas, perhaps the most renowned philosopher in today's Germany, have in recent decades increasingly emphasised the secular världsåskådningens limitations. In ”An awareness of what is missing: Faith and reason in a post-secular age” is Habermans deeply concerned that of the secular philosophy is inadequate when it attempts to formulate the moral basis for transforming the economic globalisation that is destroying the earth's ecosystems. The rational prompting to justice, enlightened self-interest or a future generation of well and wo have not sufficient power. Religions symbolsystem and ethical considerations in all its characteristics seems increasingly necessary.

one sees the religion as a reactionary force, point others to in the marknadskapitalistiska värdenihilismens time, during the fejknyheternas klickvälde and with all the less compelling values among the political parties, there remains the right to religion as the container for life's deepest moral values. And that is why religion offers such a rich resource to mobilize people to save our earth.

But how are religions related to the ecological challenges?

Thomas Berry, catholic priest and ekoteologins nestor (d. 2009), wrote: ”Since we were forced to relate to suicide (suicide), homicide (homicide), and genocide (genocide), the collapse of western christianity's moral face of nature's death (biocide).” Have issues of personal salvation superseded all others? The anthropocentric ethics been supreme? Nature material world been devalued by religion? Has the search for beyond the värdslig reward breach of commitment and dedication to this world? Have religions simply given up in the face of the positivist scientific cosmology, and divested itself prevail?

has never been private and individual in nature. Sally McFague, who for many years has written about ekoteologi based on the christian perspective, argues that the privatized salvation goes well together with the capitalist, neoliberal economy. It is through the protestant reformation, individualism made its entrance into the christian theological world. God and the self became the focus, the inner conviction was in the centre, the cosmological questions were dropped away, writes McFague, in ”The new climate theology. The world and global warming”. One handed cosmology to science – or with McFagues formulation: ”When science took over Nature, so did the theology retreat to the inner life”.

also There is much in the religions themselves, the DNA that respond to the climate crisis: Religion has the ability to offer a radical alternative language to the current of growth, individualism, and life as a consumer.

McFague bone up on the religious elements: the cosmological, political, psychological. The policy – on how the assets are to be distributed (the Bible is packed to the brim with economic justice issues) – was once again up to date with befrielseteologierna in the third world. Equity issues between the rich and the poor was the major issue, but in the end of the 1900s and beginning of the 2000s, the focus has moved to the equality between the sexes and the prominent member (as well as abuse in same-sex marriage and homosexuality). Now, with ekoteologin will the so bortskuffade cosmological questions again in the centre. And, once again, will not change from within the religious communities but from outside, from the secular world. The forces – just like in the past with the woman question – a new reading of the sources, to a reformulation of the theology and to the new approaches and practices.

according to McFague, a shift from a distant, unreachable God to an embodied God who is the source of the world's life and fulfillment. God has been seen as heavenly and we as his body on this earth, to be reunited with the heavenly. This expresses a strange distance to it bodily for a religion which has the divine incarnation as its central message. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of christianity is that it insists that God is with us in the flesh, here and now, on our soil. God is not antikött and antivärld, actually it is just the opposite, the incarnation says that God is the one we live with on this earth. God despises not the world, God loves it. We have been given the mission to love the world through God's incarnation in the world. Our mission is to try to understand what this means and live accordingly.

christianity. For judaism, it can apply to take the task that the Lord set before man in the creation account seriously. Other creatures have consciousness. But they are not aware that they are aware. Only man sees and describes himself from the outside and parts on on their experiences to the next generation, it is what makes man unique in creation, and perhaps this is what the famous words of the biblical creation story is all about, to be created in God's image. It does not mean to be God's representative on earth, to act according to God's intentions. What are they? God wants to exploit and destroy his own creation ?

instead of to emphasize the superiority vis-à-vis the rest of creation, can focus on the responsibility as stewards of creation, not as masters but as the janitors of our common home, our oikos (Greek for ”house”, from which the word ecology comes). For the jews it can apply to deepen their awareness of the law, halachan, which comes from the word for ”to go”. How do you go in the world with the law of God? For example kosherkött slaughtered in an unethical meat production doesn really kosher?

dismissed as irrelevant to the climate crisis, nor as inefficient. More than ninety percent of the world's population has a connection to the religious congregations, whether it is symbolic or that is actively practicing. There are billions of religious followers world over. The religious communities are the largest non-governmental organisations in the world, and has significant resources, infrastructure and financial assets. Their members meet over race - class - gender - and nationalitetsbarriärer.

There is also much in the religions themselves, the DNA that respond to the climate crisis: Religion has the ability to offer a radical alternative language to the current of growth, individualism, and life as a consumer. Religion is not interested in growth, but of spiritual growth. One can generally say that one of the religion's essential roles in societal life is to serve as an example of a view of life where the quest for power and pleasure and the satisfaction of needs is suspended, and, instead, give attention to, and adapt to man's absolute affairs. There is no religion in the world that goes in defense of the kingdom of overconsumption; Matteusevangeliets famous ”it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”, will return as the genre in all religions.

most of us have turned away their eyes and still do it from klimatkrisens threats and the necessity of a radical transformation of our way of life, can make us all the more unpleasant and incapable to really see. Our collective inability to pay attention is, perhaps, ”the ultimate problem, so to say, the problem before the problem”, says Robert Gottlieb, who wrote much about the ekoteologi and was the main editor of the great ”Oxford handbook of religion and ecology”.

Religions the practice of prayer, ritual and meditation are proven tools for practicing attention and not fold away with their gaze. Robert Gottlieb also points out that religions stares straight on, and find language for the things that we would otherwise want to avoid; death, regret, shame. Religion has a long practice of speaking about guilt and repentance, we can make use of the language in the climate change issue in order to collectively process our guilt and find a way forward .

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