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For the Life of the World

An Eastern Christian Approach to Nature and Environmental Care

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Robin Gibbons

For the Life of the World: An Eastern Christian Approach to Nature and Environmental Care explores climate change and global ecological issues via the ability of Christianity—one of the world’s most frequently practiced religions—to provide insight. Author Robin Gibbons outlines the tradition of prior Christian involvement in the issue, drawing upon ideas of freely given care and human stewardship of the world. Recently, the issue of climate change and the Christian community’s inability to act against it has been characterized by a disconnect between human life and nature, with the biblical model of human stewardship subsumed by politics, business, and greed. In contrast, this book advocates for embracing an older model of Christian thought, theoretically surmounting the consequences of climate disaster through care and respect for nature.

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Chapter 1. Towards a Spirituality of Environment

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Towards a Spirituality of Environment

I. The Need for a New Spirituality of the Environment

There is no doubt that paradigmatic shifts are taking place in the Earth’s climactic structures. We hear much about the effects of Global Warming, even though there are many who still disregard the signs, but it is now difficult, too many reports of issues connected with human misuse of resources emerges each week. The Natural Resources Defence Council of the United States, which was founded in 1970 to protect land and water from human pollution and greed, constantly issues reports into the various problems facing our planet and its inhabitants.1 This is only one of many global groups now convened to tackle these issues urgently, but also actively seeking to provide solutions that benefit all parties. The NRDC has over 1.4 million members and can call on over 500 professionals, including lawyers and scientists. There are many others! A recent article in various newspapers drew attention to the plastic garbage in the ocean that is finding its way into the marine food chain and causing many problems, in particular cases the garbage comes together to form a kind of plastic soup. Perhaps it is because ‘out of sight’ does mean←9 | 10→ ‘out of mind’ that we fail to recognise the precariousness of so much we take for granted. John Vidal in an article for The Guardian newspaper in February 2015 drew attention to the call for the...

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