NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 9, 2020 (ncronline.org, by Brian Roewe):Faith for Earth: A Call for Action was released Thursday by the U.N. Environment Programme and the Parliament of the World's Religions during the Faith for Nature Global Conference, held in Skalhol, Iceland. The 57-page book, available online and in print, describes how many religions view the natural world and their duty to safeguard it. Those faith-based perspectives are paired with scientific explanations of the multitude of crises threatening the planet's oceans, atmosphere, ecosystems and people.
The book's faith section was authored by Kusumita P. Pedersen, professor emerita of religious studies at St. Francis College, in Brooklyn Heights, New York. It presents teachings on creation and the environment from a dozen faiths, including Christianity, Buddhism, Baha'i, Sikhism, Daoism and Islam, as well as a number of Indigenous traditions.
The prayers, hymns and texts featured in Faith for Earth show how different belief systems have often used similar language in describing the world.
"O Mother Earth! You are the world for us and we are your children," reads the Hindu hymn "In Praise of Mother Earth."
"Air is the guru; Water the father; and Earth the great mother. Day and night are two male and female nurses in whose lap the entire world plays," reads a passage in the Guru Granth Sahib, the central Sikh scripture.
At the end of the faith section, the book summarizes eight points of agreement across religions regarding humans' relationship to the environment. Among them: The natural world itself has value beyond serving human needs, and non-human creatures have moral significance; The need for gratitude for the natural world, upon which human survival relies; There are both legitimate and illegitimate uses of nature, with greed and destruction condemned and restraint and protection commended.
Download the book: https://www.unenvironment.org/resource ... n/faith-earth-call-action