Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’
For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of fasting—of getting by with less. Traditionally, this has meant abstaining from things like eating, drinking, or sex from dawn until sunset. In recent years, these more traditional practices have been supplemented by a desire to get by with fewer resources as well. As part of the focus on moderation, some Muslims are intentionally focusing on their influence on the environment, making a special effort to limit their waste and to treat the earth well.
Bron Taylor explores the literary, spiritual, and ecological roots of Discovery Channel shooter James Lee’s “rage against civilization.”
In the German web magazine Telepolis, Eren Güvercin writes on “eco-Islam.” Ecological consciousness in most Muslim-majority countries remains low (while ecological problems associated with rapid urbanization spiral out of control), but European Muslims have been on the forefront of tying ecology to Islamic ethics in recent years. Muslim community organizations in the United Kingdom have been particularly active. This has not gone without notice by the wider public. Only recently, none other than Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, gave a talk entitled “Islam and the Environment,” outlining how teachings of Islam potentially entail an ecological ethos.
My contribution to these discussions seeks to expand the analytical horizon of the foregoing discussion of civil religion both chronologically and geographically, with special attention to the growing importance of what I call “dark green religion,” and the possibility that it might precipitate the emergence of a global, civil earth religion. Dark green religion, as I have constructed the term, involves the perception that nature is sacred and has intrinsic value, the belief that everything is interconnected and mutually dependent, and a deep feeling of belonging to nature. Often rooted in an evolutionary understanding that all life shares a common ancestor, dark green religion generally leads to a form of kinship ethics that entails ethical responsibilities to all living things.
In response to the resurgence of aggressive, intolerant and even violent religious fundamentalism of recent decades, deep questions, often answered in the negative, have been raised about the place of religion in public life. Religion is often experienced and described as antithetical to public order, democracy, and progressive values. However, the example of religious environmentalism shows (once again) that religion in and of itself has no particular political identity—it is neither left nor right, democratic nor undemocratic. [...]