You've studied the scriptures of your faith tradition, and you understand quite well the moral imperative to care for creation. What about your fellow climate caretakers in faith traditions not your own? What are they taught about creation and how are they making a change for the better?
Biohabitats asked faith leaders and scholars of the world's five major religious traditions to comment on why their respective theologies compel them to act on climate.
In the Qur'an 30:41, Muslims are shown,
"Corruption has appeared on land and sea
Because of what people’s own hands have wrought,
So that they may taste something of what they have done;
So that hopefully they will turn back."
The teachings are quite clear, degradation of the land will have a negative impact on human existence. Moreover, it explains that the negative impact is a warning from Allah (SWT), informing us to 'turn back' and change the way we treat creation.
Creation care is critical to Judaism as well, prompting entire books to be written on Genesis 1:1 alone, demonstrating how the mere act of creating is reason enough to care for it. The Bible is a 'land-centric (“Eretz” in Hebrew) text,' as Ellen Bernstein explains, most Jewish traditions demonstrate some level of connection to the land, honoring the life-giving qualities of creation with holidays such as Shavu‘ot.
Read how Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian teachings also share a common concern for the climate, and get invloved with other congregation with Blessed Tomorrow's how-to-guide.
Perspectives From Five World Religions
As we mentioned in the introduction to this issue, it would be impossible to deeply explore the relationship that every world religion—let alone each of their sects or denominations—has with the natural world. But to gain some insight into what connects people of various faiths to nature and what motivates them to take action to care for the earth, we posed the same set of questions to scholars and activists representing five of some of the more populous world religions. (Note: Leaf Litter was unsuccessful in securing input from a scholar representing indigenous and African traditional religions. Not all scholars are practitioners of the religions they study.)
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