Eco-Spirituality ~ An Elemental Perspective

My thanks always to my generous friend Rex Nelson who just gets better and better with his camera. His generosity and kindness have never faltered.

I know that the majority of the people who read this blog and respond to my work are among the many who have left churches and won’t return, or have never attended churches and have no plans to do so. Still, I want to share with people of churches and people not, some of the significant explorations being accomplished out of my former seminary, The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, in Berkeley, California.

In my posts I continue to challenge the institution of the Church and it’s insistence on human privilege and entitlement. I continue to charge that the restoration and healing of the ecosystems of the planet cannot be accomplished unless and until we humans release our sense of primacy and rejoin (appropriately) the natural world. Still I think there are little pockets of hope giving new voice.

Under the ecological vision and leadership of Dr. Marion Grau, Associate Professor of Theology, the concept of Elemental Theology (Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire) is beginning to take root and bloom. A DVD entitled Elemental Theology has just been released as part of a teaching series produced by The Center For Anglican Learning & Leadership; it’s a compilation of half a dozen voices whose deep commitment to the healing of our planet is growing. From the sacred elements of water, the fruits of the earth, light, and all life forms come the stories we’ve been hungering for, a shared narrative from an ecological perspective which challenges faith communities to rethink such biblical concepts as dominion and rule, human privilege and entitlement, and the meaning of justice.

It was a rare occasion that invited my own participation in this teaching series, and a privilege. My hope is to include this work in two ways: first, I have posted my contribution in two parts on the sidebar of the website. I am including both parts in this new post as well.

Second, I am asking that you take a look at the film Elemental Theology in its entirety, and consider its purchase.

What if . . . it’s a question I raise in my part of the DVD . . . what if faith communities could begin to re-imagine the perspective from which they understand the interrelationships of all life forms? I think of the sheer numbers of hands and hearts and minds – never mind political influence – that could address the ecological devastation of our times. I think of the deep spiritual foundation – not doctrinal – that carries the potential for real healing.

Then, of course, the reality sets in – the propensity of religious organizations to focus their resources on those things which prop them up. The cynicism is warranted, no doubt, but I’m not sure it’s helpful. Quite the opposite if it leads to numbness and paralysis as is so often my experience.

I’m asking that you take a look at this DVD, if not in its entirety, then my contribution to it. I’d like to read your thoughts and comments in the the space provided. I really don’t understand how it is that conversational threads are strong on some blogging sites, and not so on others. As there is no more critical conversation that’s needed at this particular moment, I am asking for your help.

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