Foundations of theology

“Religion and the Environment: Exploring Attitudes and Responsibility”

The following are quotations about the environment from various individuals and organizations from some of the world’s religions. I found them during a fairly brief google search. They are in no particular order. Some are official statements; some are not. They are intended to get you started thinking about the topic of this discussion (It would also be good for you to review CTT Pp. 592-596.: Christianity and Environmental Sustainability.).
We have been talking about the environment as if it is something different from us, but we are the environment. The non-human elements are our environment, but we are the environment of non-human elements, so we are one with the environment. We are the environment.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, March 2012
As individuals, as institutions, as a people, we need a change of heart to preserve and protect the planet for our children and for generations yet unborn. (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching, 1991)
Islam forbids wasting of resources and destroying the environment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered the Muslims not to cut trees during the war. He emphasized the conservation of the environment and the prevention of its destruction. Therefore, conserving the environment is a religious duty of every Muslim.
2012 2nd International Conference on Environment Science and Biotechnology
( › vol48 › 021-ICESB2012-B30014)
A Jewish ecology is “not based on the assumption that we are no different from other living creatures. It [begins] with the opposite idea: We have a special responsibility precisely because we are different, because we know what we are doing.
Rabbi Harold Kushner, “To Life!” as cited in “Jewish Wisdom” by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.
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For too long, we, our Christian brothers and sisters, and many people of good will have relegated care and justice for the Earth to the periphery of our concerns. This is not a competing “program alternative,” one “issue” among many. In this most critical moment in Earth’s history, we are convinced that the central moral imperative of our time is the care for Earth as God’s creation.
National Council of Churches in the USA
If you are a churchgoer, have you ever heard a sermon about the environment? Has the subject of environmental protection ever come up in church/Sunday School, etc.? Whether you are an active Christian, an inactive Christian, a member of another faith tradition or an unbeliever, do you think it is appropriate for the environment to be considered a “religious” issue? What do you know, or think you know, about the attitudes of religious people, especially, but not only, Christians towards environmental issues? Do you have an opinion on what those attitudes should be? Our text has one paragraph on “Stewardship of the Earth” under the topic of Catholic Social Teaching. Does concern for the environment belong in a book about The Christian Theological Tradition. Should it be given more attention? less? about the same amount? Discuss Christianity/religion/morality and the environment. Base your discussion on the questions I have raised or on other questions/issues that come to your mind.
This discussion will be open until 11:59 pm EDT April 28.