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Environmental concerns

Response, & lack thereof,
by non-Christian religions

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bullet Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Coordinator, Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light: "We in the industrialized world have allowed our appetites to outrun both our resources and our humanity." 1
bullet Dalai Lama: "Too much consumption or effort to make money is not good." 2
bullet Pope John Paul II: "Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle." 1
bullet The Very Reverend James Parks Morton, Dean, Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Episcopal): "The challenge before the religious community in America is to make every congregation -- every church, synagogue and mosque -- truly green: a center of environmental study and action. That is religious duty. 3

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One of the greatest challenges to the contemporary religions is how to respond to the environmental crisis, to demands on protecting and restoring creation. The destruction of the environment must be seen as one of the most serious moral issues of our times. 4
Human ecology is deeply conditioned by what we believe about our nature and destiny - that is, by our religion. 5 The moral imperative and value systems of the various religions are indispensable, if we want to mobilize everybody to protect and preserve the environment for future generations.

To succeed in our efforts, attempts have to be made to incorporate the ethics of ecology into today's religious framework. The aim is to modify existing religions, so that, in the words of Arnold Toynbee, they teach "...respect for the dignity and sanctity of nature." The required adjustments are going to require a spiritual discipline that involves a change from our anthropocentrism to biocentrism and geocentrism. 6

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction
bullet Responses by:
bullet Baha'i Faith
bullet Buddhists
bullet Hindus
bullet Indigenous people
bullet Jains
bullet Jews
bullet Muslims
bullet Sikhs
bullet Unitarians
bullet Zoroastrians / Parsis

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Responses by Christian groups are discussed elsewhere.

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References used:

  1. "Tricks of the Trade," New Internationalist, 353: 2003-JAN-FEB. Online at:

  2. "Hong Kong Summit: Green or Dirty?" BBC News: 2005-DEC-12.

  3. "Quotations on the Environment," Web of Creation, at:

  4. Thomas Berry, quoted in McDonagh Sean, "The Death of Life. A Challenge to Christians," at:

  5. Lynn White Jr., "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," Science 155 (No. 3767), 1967.

  6. Sean McDonagh, "The Greening of the Church," Geoffrey Chapman, (1990). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store

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Site navigation (Partial list):

Home page > Environment > Religion > here

Home page > Science/religion > Environment > Religion > here

Home page > Morality and ethics > Environment > Religion > here

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Copyright 2006 to 2008 by  Vladimir Tomek
Original publishing date: 2006-AUG-08
Latest update on: 2008-OCT-10
Author:  Vladimir Tomek

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