Ecospirituality – sometimes also called spiritual ecology – is a relatively new branch of theology that’s increasingly a focus in mainstream religious traditions and the emerging interfaith community. It conjoins the empirical sciences of ecology and the essence of our communal quest for the Sacred. Ecospirituality is rooted within the fundamental belief that ALL of nature, our home planet Earth and the entire unfolding universe are Sacred.
Traditional notions of of the relationship between nature and spirituality are actually ancient and have been at the core of primal beliefs across indigenous peoples from continent to continent. Literally, it is the unfolding story of humankind’s understanding of it’s relationship to nature. From the ecospiritual perspective – God, Spirit, Ultimate Reality, Higher Power, the Divine…is not just Creator and Source of all creation. Whatever we consider “God” is, in fact, creation itself. Interacting with creation, therefore, is synonymous with interacting with God.
*The entire Universe is Divine. This includes you and me.
*The Old Testament’s Book of Genesis story of God giving “dominion” to humankind over the whole earth is repeatedly used to justify our use and abuse of planetary resources and co-inhabitants for millennia in the name of “development” and “progress.” The story presents a legacy of human to human and cross-species genocide all too often in the name of God.
*We are all interconnected.
*We are “all” in this together… all is inclusive – think humans, animals, fish, trees, plants, bees, insects, oceans, rivers, streams, bacteria and atomic particles.
*Ecospirituality considers the ethics of violence and sustainability. It considers ALL individuals as interconnected – a complex fabric of relationships with the group… groups with other groups… and the ethics of how all these relationships are bound to the environment within which they occur.
*Ecospirituality within the social justice conversations is pertinent interfaith dialogue.
*There are spiritual implications about our relationship with nature and the ways we collectively treat our planet and environment. Ecospirituality explores the relationship between life and lifestyle.
*Ecospirituality assumes a global response to multiple challenges from what to do with human and animal garbage to energy production and consumption to the consumption of materials.
*There is a profound relationship between “me” and “we.” That relationship has profound meaning for “us.”
*Ecospirituality can be seen as a new name for ideas that emerged in the writings of Teilhard de Chardin, Rachael Carson, Spinoza, Henry David Thoreau, Emerson and John Muir.