The review “Studies” resonates ecology and spirituality



“The ecological crisis questions not only our lifestyles, but also and above all the meaning that we give to life”, these few words say the intention of the work “Ecology and spirituality” proposed by the journal Studies : to participate in depth in the public debut on ecology, by irrigating it with small sources and large rivers of spirituality. Convinced that the transformation of our lifestyles cannot be limited to technical actions, Studies testifies to what Christians can bring to the common and groping search for a sustainable, just and friendly way of life. Faithful to its open-mindedness, the Jesuit review does not however envisage this one-way meeting. This book also shares what the environmental concern does to Christians, what it displaces in their attentions, their ways of living and believing …

→ READ. At the summit for the climate, the unique voice of the Pope for an “integral ecology”

In this edition, we will find a presentation of the pope’s commitment to ecological issues (by the economist of the solidarity economy Elena Lasida), a reflection on the notion of creation (by the theologian François Euvé), an assessment of the presence of Christians in the green parties (by political scientist Vanessa Jérôme), but also the spiritual rereading of several original initiatives recently born: the transition campus initiated in 2018 by Cécile Renouard, nun, economist and philosopher, and the label “Church green ”launched in 2017 which offers parishes a path of ecological conversion.

A contribution to the common conversation on ecology

It will be understood: this work does not remain in the sky of ideas, however spiritual! It offers convictions in action, demonstrating that in Christianity there is only spirituality embodied and committed. Over the course of the articles, the biblical and theological references prove to be a powerful contribution in the debates on ecology: on the gift of creation, justice, the relationship with others and with other living beings … But other notes can be found. are heard, which will perhaps surprise more than one environmental activist: recognized importance to politics, vigilance on the risk of idealism in community life, realism in the place to be given to institutions …

While some environmentalists overwhelm the Christian anthropocentrism with which they intend to break, these reflections show that it cannot be reduced to caricatures. Even more, he can allow himself to avoid certain pitfalls and blind spots in ecological thinking: withdrawal into a “principle localism”, sacralization or nostalgia for an “ideal” nature, withdrawal into the private sector, leaving history. …

Maintain confidence in the potential of the future

It is also a sensitivity to the long term that Christians carry. A sensitivity that allows us to deploy our gaze, downstream and upstream of a distressing present, and while the breakdown of history threatens. “Confronted with what looks very much like a betrayal of the promises of modernity, our societies have no plans, writes economist Bernard Perret. We can certainly think that a decrease is inevitable, at least in certain areas, but that, in itself, does not say much about the social world in which we are going to have to live. (…) We do not yet see in which collective narrative people will be able to include their private projects. “

As time is running out and the future is more uncertain than ever, Christians can draw from their heritage a way of avoiding sterile panic, an openness to otherness and the unknown, making it possible to “To see in this uncertain and threatening future an enigmatic promise, the place of a foreseen truth, but not yet known. (…) ”. From this confidence can spring a “Philosophy of novelty”, holding that “New capacities for action, cultural creation, generosity and giving of meaning can be manifested in a humanity confronted with unprecedented situations”. This confidence is a faith, without guarantee, but it does not take hope for an empty word.

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