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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 5. Monastic Signposts

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Monastic Signposts

The tradition of christian monastic spirituality and life and the variety of religious experience that it represents can at first be a bewildering subject for anybody trying to discern just what this phenomenon of Monasticism is about! The spiritual path that it represents spans nearly 2,000 years of christian history, combining both eremitical and community dwelling monastics, both men and women, within the traditions of eastern and western Christianity. There have been periods when monasticism has flourished and really enriched church and world, but there have also been times of decadence and collapse. Whilst we are examining the christian context and the insights of monasticism for our present world and its problems with environmental and global climate change, this way of life has a wider ecological and ecumenical out reach for it builds bridges across religious divides to connect with other religious traditions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. From its origins the example and witness of the first monks was a powerful countercultural voice against an establishment Church and the corrupt Imperial world, whilst this was reactionary and manifest itself in flight from urban centres to desert solitude (soon broken because of the popularity of this way of life) It also had and still has a prophetic voice for contemporary culture because it takes us out of our comfort zones to look again and what and who we really are and in the case of our environmental and ecological issues it challenges...

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