Religion

COP22 in Marrakesh. Photo: Rhys Gerholdt / WRI via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

COP22: American Muslims vote to ditch fossil fuels

Alex Kirby
| 11th November 2016
An influential organisation of American Muslims announced at COP22 in Marrakesh that it will end investment in fossil fuels, and urged its partners to follow suit, writes Alex Kirby. The move adds to pressure on sovereign wealth and pension funds worth $19 trillion to follow suit to meet Paris Agreement targets.

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'Water is our first Medicine' - Water Protectors locked onto machinery, halting construction two days after the Dakota Access pipeline company bulldozed sacred burial sites. Photo: UnicornRiot.Ninja via Prachatai on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Dakota Access Pipeline: Native American religion matters!

Rosalyn R. LaPier
Harvard University
| 8th November 2016
The intimate connection between landscape and religion is at the center of Native American societies, writes Rosalyn R. LaPier, and a key reason why thousands of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples from around the world have traveled to the windswept prairies of North Dakota. There is no excuse for the ignorance and disrespect of corporations, and government.

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Sunset at Papeete, French Polynesia. Photo: Pilottage via Flickr (CC BY).

ALERT: Critically Endangered Species: Homo sapiens

Willemijn Heideman
| 11th May 2016
The IUCN has mysteriously placed Homo sapiens outside its systems of thinking when defining the criteria for Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable Species, writes Willemijn Heideman: our collective inability to tackle our existential crises makes our survival on this planet a highly uncertain prospect.

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Kara Moses. Photo: Author supplied.

Heathrow13: Why I risked jail for my beliefs

Kara Moses
| 6th May 2016
Earlier this year, 13 climate activists were sentenced for aggravated trespass after blocking a runway at London’s Heathrow airport. For Kara Moses, the protest was part of her Buddhist practice of loving kindness to life and planet.

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'Divine wilderness': the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park, California. Photo: Peretz Partensky via Fliclr (CC BY-SA).

Divine wilderness: John Muir's spiritual and political journey

Tim Flinders
| 6th May 2016
For John Muir, founder of America's national parks, immersion in nature was a blessing providing direct communion with divinity, writes Tim Flinders, and the cause of a spiritual awakening that inspired his life's work: to preserve wilderness and communicate the beauty, wonder and fragility of nature, sharing widely the source of his own enlightenment.

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The war on drugs under way near Tumaco, Colombia, June 2008. But how come nothing like this happens in Colorado or Amsterdam? Photo: William Fernando Martinez / AP Photo via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The 'war on drugs' is a war on culture and human diversity

Benjamin Ramm
| 28th April 2016
The 'war on drugs' is presented as a necessary battle against social evils, writes Benjamin Ramm. But from the Andes to the Caribbean, prohibition has criminalised both religious and cultural expression. And it's a war that is strictly for the global poor: people in Colorado can grow pot - so why not Colombians?

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The Thar desert in Rajasthan, India. Photo: Nick Kenrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Protecting God's Creation: churches commit to the green energy transition

Tim Gee
Christian Aid
| 19th April 2016
Pope Francis's famous encyclical on climate change is part of a broad global shift to environmental awareness among faith communities, writes Tim Gee. Christian churches and congregations are among those joining the fast growing fossil fuel divestment movement, switching to renewable energy, and reaching out to wider society to help protect our home planet, Earth.

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Jaguar at Pilpintuwasi, near Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo: worldsurfr via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The Shaman's cure: a Gaian awakening

Peter Bunyard
| 2nd March 2016
An encounter with a Colombian shaman led Peter Bunyard on a spiritual journey into and beyond the living, breathing, transpiring Amazon rainforest, providing key insights into the essential role of the great tropical forests in the workings of Gaia. He emerged re-energised from his visions - and inspired to redouble his efforts to save our wondrous planet.

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Pope Francis. Photo: © Mazur / catholicnews.org.uk via Catholic Church England and Wales / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The system is intolerable: the change we need is in our hands

Pope Francis
| 18th July 2015
The world has become intolerable for people everywhere, and for Earth herself, says Pope Francis. Profound, transformative change leading to social and economic justice is now an absolute necessity and something we must all fight for. We must also act to safeguard the Earth herself, our common home.

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General Audience with Pope Francis. Photo: © Mazur / catholicnews.org.uk via Flickr / Catholic Church England and Wales (CC BY-NC-SA).

Social and environmental justice: the struggle is one!

Pope Francis
| 28th June 2015
We must beware an 'environmental' agenda that excludes the human dimension, Pope Francis writes in his recent Encyclical: the poor are least to blame for the ecological and climate crises, yet they are its primary victims. Humanity must make enduring decisions about the world we and our children will share.

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Police escort construction traffic through the gate of the naval base now under construction. Photo: No Naval Base / Facebook.

Pave Paradise, put up a naval base

Medea Benjamin
| 22nd June 2015
Jeju, South Korea's 'island of peace' is the site of an extraordinary people's struggle against the construction of a new billion-dollar naval base destined to support the US's military posturing towards China and North Korea, writes Medea Benjamin. And even now, after eight years of peaceful resistance, the campaigning spirit is burning strong and bright.

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Star of Bethlehem flowers, photographed in Delaware Bay. Photo: Daniel Ashton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save the Earth, first we must love her

Hugh Warwick
| 19th June 2015
Pope Francis's vision of mankind living in joyful harmony with God's creation has challenged the great powers of the modern world, writes Hugh Warwick - and made the Catholic Church a revolutionary force of love and compassion, empowering movements for social and environmental justice everywhere.

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The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis, 19th march 2013. Photo: Catholic Church England and Wales via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Pope Francis's climate letter is a radical attack on the logic of the market

Steffen Böhm
University of Essex
| 18th June 2015
The Encyclical published today by Pope Francis represents a profound religious and philosophical challenge to the mainstream narratives of our times, writes Steffen Böhm, and a major confrontation with the great corporate, economic and political powers, as it spells out the potential of a new world order rooted in love, compassion, and care for the natural world.

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Ocean Sunrise over the Atlantic in Palm Beach County, Florida. Photo: Kim Seng via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The oceans are not worth $24 trillion

Charles Eisenstein
| 15th May 2015
Some things are beyond measure and beyond price, writes Charles Eisenstein. No amount of money is enough to compensate for the loss of the sacred or the essential - and to pretend that it is, is to capitulate to the very mentality that is driving the destruction of the biosphere.

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Cowslips (Primula veris). Photo: Donna JW via Flickr (CC BY).

The joys and sufferings of plants as sentient beings

Martin Spray
| 10th April 2015
Is it 'morally reprehensible' to arbitrarily decapitate roadside flowers? Yes it is, writes Martin Spray - at least in Switzerland. And now we know that plants have both senses and physiology, why not awareness and emotions too? Even legal standing to have their rights defended in court - at least if they are trees?

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Hope - life is still beautiful! Photo: Iqbal Osman via Flickr (CC BY).

Embracing 'radical hope' in our fight to save the Earth

Paul Hoggett
| 5th April 2015
Radical hope is not just about determination and courage in the face of darkness, writes Paul Hoggett - it is also about love and a re-finding all that is benign in the world. And this is the spirit we need to muster to confront the serious challenges that lie before us - in the Paris climate talks and beyond.

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'The kingdom of God belongs to such as these'. Children in Tacloban City, Leyte Province, Philippines, amid the wreckage of Super Typhoon Yolanda / Hiyan, 21st December 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rediscovering the moral dimension of climate change

Jonathon Porritt
| 9th February 2015
Pope Francis's forthcoming statement on climate change could just revitalise progress towards significant emissions cuts, writes Jonathon Porritt. But more than that, it will open up the space for a wider spirituality to guide our thinking, and campaigning, on climate and other key global challenges.

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Tuva, Siberia. Photo: Jules Pretty / The Edge of Extinction.

The Way of the White Cloud

Jules Pretty
| 31st January 2015
In his search for alternatives to consumerism and industrialism, Jules Pretty travelled around the world to find surviving nature-based cultures. In this extract from his book 'The Edge of Extinction', he tells of the Tuva people of the Siberian steppe - proud of their traditions and closeness to the land, but very much part of the modern world - strictly on their own terms.

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Zekiye Ozdemir and Gulseren Caliskan, both 70, maintain their daily vigil directly in front of a large iron police barrier  at the construction site on the edge of Validebag Grove, Istanbul. Photo: Nick Ashdown.

'Fake environmentalists' battle for Istanbul's last forest

Nick Ashdown
| 26th November 2014
After Gezi Park, another battle for one of Istanbul's increasingly rare green spaces is raging, writes Nick Ashdown - and this time it's on the city's Asian side. Demonstrators are holding a 24-hour vigil on the edge of an 'illegal' construction site at Validebag Grove - despite having been repeatedly detained and attacked by police.

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The Circularity of Life by Jane Cull  - front cover illustration.

The circularity of Life

Jane Cull
| 4th November 2014
We must accept the reality that human beings, nature and cosmos are interconnected in a vast circular system, writes Jane Cull. To sustain ourselves on this planet, we must sustain the web of life of which we are part, and construct another kind of world that based on that understanding.

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Ask not for whom the bells of mindfulness ring ... they ring for us. Photo: Bell Rock, Arizona by Alan English CPA via Flickr.

Spiritual ecology: hearing the cry of the Earth

Thich Nhat Hanh
| 28th October 2014
The bells of mindfulness are calling out to us, writes Thich Nhat Hanh, trying to awake us and remind us to reduce our impact on the planet. But more than that, to avert environmental catastrophe we must awake others too, and create a revolution in our collective human consciousness.

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