Faith Voices for Ecocide Law is a remarkable collection of texts, drawing on the vast wisdom, teachings and practices of the world religions and indigenous spiritual traditions. Written at a time of ecological crisis, it focuses on the relationship between humans and nature in general, and on the need for a new international crime of ecocide in particular. The authors are recognized spiritual leaders in their faith traditions (see below).
The book launches Nov 9 at the UN climate change conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The tone at the outset of the conference was one of great urgency. Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and added that “we are on a highway to climate hell”. Many religious traditions emphasize the responsibility to respect and protect the living world of which we are a part. The word ecocide – literally “killing one´s home” – conveys this understanding. Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group; there is great potential for faith leadership for new common rules for humanity, to move from harm to harmony.
“The concept of an ecocide law really resonates with Pacific peoples: from an indigenous perspective, from our connection with the land and the sea, and from a religious perspective, where we are called by God to be custodians of the world we live in. The role of faith in supporting an international law of ecocide is very significant,” says one of the authors, James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches.
“Protection of nature at the highest level is urgent for the transition to a sustainable society. Faith traditions carry the hope that we can agree to this fundamental piece of legislation in time. This book is a very engaging collection of voices and we hope it will be a useful resource for faith communities and others, to explore different perspectives and to unite in action and support for ecocide law,” says Pella Thiel from End Ecocide Sweden, editor.
Faith voices for ecocide law is published by End Ecocide Sweden and Stop Ecocide International with partners: Cambridge Mosque Trust, Centre for Applied Buddhism, Green Faith, Interfaith Centre for Sustainable Development, Parliament of World’s Religions, Pacific Conference of Churches, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology and Azote.
Find the book in digital format here: faithforecocidelaw.earth/faith-voices-for-ecocide-law
Launch event Nov 9th (in person at COP27) : stopecocide.earth/events/book-launch-faith-voices-for-ecocide-law
More words from the authors:
“To me as a Christian, working for ecocide law is the most important thing I can do. All Christian theology now must be eco-theology, to be relevant in the times we find ourselves in.” — KG Hammar, former Archbishop of the Church of Sweden.
“This important and timely book has given us the opportunity to open up discussion and dialogue on ecocide across and within Buddhism as well as with other faiths. The chapters are all rich sources of inspiration towards opening up the treasure house of possibilities that lie within all of us.” — Jamie Cresswell, Director of the Centre for Applied Buddhism and the President of the European Buddhist Union.
“This is a vitally important book.” — Mary Evelyn Tucker, Co-Director, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.
The Faith for Ecocide Law initiative is an interreligious coalition gathering religious and spiritual leaders and voices to express support for an international crime of ecocide. Learn more: faithforecocidelaw.earth
Pella Thiel, End Ecocide Sweden, [email protected] , +46 736589884.
Sara Qualter, Stop Ecocide International, [email protected], +447876193083
Religious endorsement of ecocide law:
From the World Council of Churches
From the UNEP Faith for Earth initiative
From the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
From the Bishops of the Church of Sweden
From Pope Francis
About the authors:
Reverend James Bhagwan is the General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, the peak ecumenical organization for the Pacific/Oceania region, comprising 33 member churches and 10 national councils of churches that account for at least 70 % of the region’s human population.
Jamie Cresswell is the Director of the Centre for Applied Buddhism and the President of the European Buddhist Union. His background includes a degree in Buddhist studies as well as practice and study in many traditions and schools.
K G Hammar was the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden from 1997 to 2006. Hammar is a researcher at the University of Lund and author of several books on theology.
Michele Lamb is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Buddhism, and Fellow of the University of Essex Human Rights Centre.
Helene Lindmark is a Sámi Noaidi, wisdom keeper. She grew up in Liikavaara, a village in the northern part of Sápmi, Sweden. She walks the Shamanic tradition of her ancestors’ heritage from Sápmi; the northern parts of Sweden, Russia and Finland.
Appolinaire Oussou Lio is the Tolinou DJAKA Atawévi, prince of the Tolinou kingdom of Benin, writer, geographer and naturalist, President of GRABE-BENIN. He works for the validation of endogenous knowledge, the culture of peoples and the protection of forests and sacred sites.
Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad a.k.a. Professor Timothy Winter is currently the Sheikh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University. He has published and contributed to numerous academic works on Islam. He is also the founder of the Cambridge Muslim College. Prof Winter has been the main force behind the decade-long project to build the Cambridge Central Mosque, Europe’s first eco-mosque.
Rabbi Yonatan Neril is the founder and director of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development in Jerusalem and co-author of the bestselling book Eco Bible.
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati is the President and spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. He is the founder and co-founder of several humanitarian and environmental organizations including Ganga Action Parivar and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, and part of the Board of World Religious Leaders.
Mary Evelyn Tucker teaches at Yale University at the School of the Environment and the Divinity School. She is, with John Grim, the Co-Director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. Tucker was a member of the Earth Charter Drafting Committee and the International Earth Charter Council.
“Together we strive to end ecocide and heal the Earth. We are the temples, churches, pagodas, mosques, synagogues, cathedrals and sacred sites all around the world. With faith, hope, love and care for our common future!”
From the Faith for Ecocide law Manifesto
End Ecocide Sweden
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.