Lecture on Religion & the Environment at Utah Law (April 11)

The S.I. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah will host a lecture, “The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology,” on April 11. The speaker will be Mary Evelyn Tucker of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Details are here.

Nadeau, “Rebirth of the Sacred”

I wouldn’t be the first to point out that popular environmentalism has a lot in common with pantheism. But one doesn’t have to make environmentalism a religion in order to see that the movement shares concerns with traditional religious worldviews. For example, the present Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew, has earned the nickname “the Green Patriarch” for his efforts in encouraging Christian stewardship of the world’s resources. Oxford has released a new book by Robert Nadeau, Rebirth of the Sacred: Science, Religion, and the New Environmental Ethos (2012), that explores the relationship between spirituality and environmentalism. The publisher’s description follows.

There is also a large and growing consensus in the scientific community that resolving the environmental crisis will require massive changes in our political and economic institutions and new standards for moral and ethical behavior. In this groundbreaking book, Robert Nadeau makes a convincing case that these remarkable developments could occur if sufficient numbers of environmentally concerned people participate in the new dialogue between the truths of science and religion.

Those who enter this dialogue will discover that the most fundamental scientific truths in contemporary physics and biology are analogous to and fully compatible with the most profound spiritual truths in all of the great religious traditions of the world. They will learn that recent scientific Read more

Augustine on Environmental Justice and Eschatology in Revelation

Jonathan C. Augustine (Southern U. Law Center) has posted Environmental Justice and Eschatology in Revelation. The abstract follows.

The concept of environmental justice is not new. While some scholars and activists trace its origins as part of the ongoing American Civil Rights Movement—a movement which emerged within the interdisciplinary connection of law and religion—this Essay argues that the concept of environmental justice has deep origins in the Holy Bible. With a foundation in the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures, this Essay combines the disciplines of law and religion by arguing that the Book of Revelation should be read ecologically, as a clarion call to protect the environment in anticipation of the time the triune God will return to live on the planet earth, which will exist as a new heaven.

To support the thesis that the Book of Revelation calls members of Judeo-Christian faith traditions to be protective stewards of planet earth, this Essay is organized into five interconnected parts, undergirded by religious views on the environment and the concept of environmental justice. Part I is an introductory overview, which lays a foundation for the matters related to law, religion, and ecological eschatology detailed herein. Part II builds upon Part I by transitioning into a substantive analysis of environmental justice, as detailed by John in Revelation. Part III then moves in chronology from a time when Judeo-Christian morals influenced ecological eschatology, millennia before antiquity, by exploring the same influences on environmental justice in the post-modern era. Part IV outlines policy considerations related to the continuing environmental justice movement from a Judeo-Christian thought perspective. Finally, Part V of this Essay is a synthesis and conclusion, where the author attempts to harmonize the themes and theories detailed herein, all at the proverbial intersection of law and religion.

On Earth as in Heaven: Eastern Orthodoxy and Environmental Stewardship in Law and Policy

This month, Oxford University Press publishes On Earth as in Heaven: Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, collecting the theological-environmental works of His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch.  In this position, Patriarch Bartholomew is the spiritual leader of an estimated 300-million Orthodox Christians worldwide.  The Patriarch is also geographically situated to promote understanding and tolerance between Western Christianity, Eastern Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Moreover, the Patriarch has championed an approach to environmental issues that combines spiritual command, scientific research, and political action.  For more on the Patriarch’s work in this area and specific undertakings, please follow the jump. Read more