Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key

Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key

Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key

Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key

Synopsis

Thoughtful observers agree that the planetary crisis we now face - climate change; species extinction; the destruction of entire ecosystems; the urgent need for a more just economic-political order - is pushing human civilization to a radical turning point: change or perish. But precisely howto change remains an open question. In Earth-honoring Faith, Larry Rasmussen answers that question with a dramatically new way of thinking about human society, ethics, and the ongoing health of our planet. Rejecting the modern assumption that morality applies to human society alone, Rasmussen insists that we must derive a spiritualand ecological ethic that accounts for the well-being of all creation, as well as the primal elements upon which it depends: earth, air, fire, water, and sunlight. He argues that good science, necessary as it is, will not be enough to inspire fundamental change. We must draw on religious resourcesas well to make the difficult transition from an industrial-technological age obsessed with consumption to an ecological age that restores wise stewardship of all life. Earth-honoring Faith advocates an alliance of spirituality and ecology, in which the material requirements for planetary life arereconciled with deep traditions of spirituality across religions, traditions that include mysticism, sacramentalism, prophetic practices, asceticism, and the cultivation of wisdom. It is these shared spiritual practices that can produce a chorus of world faiths to counter the consumerism,utilitarianism, alienation, oppression, and folly that have pushed us to the brink. Written with passionate commitment and deep insight, Earth-honoring Faith reminds us that we must live in the present with the knowledge that the eyes of future generations will look back at us.

Excerpt

There is no animal on earth, nor yet a bird on the wing, but
forms communities like you
.

—QUR’AN, Sura 6:38

Of all the things in the world, the Holy One did not create
a single one that is useless
.

—THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD, Shabbat 77b

Dear God. Dear stars, dear trees, dear sky, dear people.
Dear everything. Dear God
.

—ALICE WALKER, The Color Purple, last letter

Born to belonging

Let us now sing the praises of famous men and women, and our ancestors in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great glory.

There were those who made a name for themselves by their valor;
those who gave counsel by their understanding and
those who spoke prophetic truth;

those who led the people in their deliberations, and in their knowledge of the people were wise in their instruction;

those who composed musical tunes, and set verses to song;
and rich men and women who endowed with resources.

All these were honored in their generations, and were the pride of
their times.
Some of them have left behind a name, so that all declare their praise.

But of others there is no memory; they have perished as though they had never been born. So have their children after them.

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