The world and humanity, in general, is faced with gargantuan environmental problems. Land, water, and air pollution, and global warming are only some of these. Hence, human beings try to find solutions to these environmental problems. Similarly, Steve C. Rockefeller examined this problem in his essay “Faith and Community in an Ecological Age” and the following conclusions can be drawn from his discussion.
First, environmental degradation has resulted from humanity’s exploitation and disregard of nature which originated from “certain aspects of the biblical tradition” (p. 147) and the ideas of philosophers. These sources taught that the earth is meant to be subdued and dominated by man; that the spiritual world and nature are separated; and that everything in the world can be manipulated and controlled.
Second, the world’s present environmental crisis is closely linked with “social oppression and injustice” (p. 146). When humans do not value the land and everything that is connected to it, most likely humans would not also value other human beings or other life forms. Moreover, when environmental sources are destroyed, man’s economic progress is affected.
Third, environmental and human rights issues can be solved with an awakening of a genuine “religious faith” (p. 145) that would make humans see that he/ she is part of nature and that he/ she has the moral responsibility to protect other human beings, other life forms and the ecosystems. This has been taught by philosophers and schools of thought in the past. Ancient Hinduism encourages respect for nature and all life forms. Likewise, St. Francis of Assisi considers every living thing and the heavenly bodies as “members of the moral community of God” (p. 159).
Lastly, an awakening of faith in the heart of man involves a spiritual experience with God. When a man’s heart is enlightened by a supreme being, his thoughts, feelings and intentions will be focused on the greater good of everyone on earth.
Rockefeller, S. C., & Elder, J. C. (1992). Faith and community in an ecological age. In Spirit and Nature (pp. 140- 169). US: Beackon Press Books.