A collection of readings, poems, theology and liturgy to help us on our unfinished journey to ecological awareness
From space it is all too easy to see our increasingly negative impact upon the carefully balanced living system that is our planet: the pollution of rivers, the land and trees cleared by burning, and the vast areas of drought; yet the political decisions that could make a difference continually slip down the international agenda while, on a personal level, we struggle with the lifestyle changes which would make care for the Earth a practical reality in our lives. ‘Give me sustainability, but not yet,’ could be our 21st-century version of St Augustine’s famous ‘continence’ prayer.
We need to start rethinking our beliefs as if the rest of nature mattered, linking liberation theology with environmental issues, for as the world becomes more uninhabitable, it is the poorest who suffer first and longest. But our relationship with non-human nature is more than just material and economic. We need to start loving nature for its own sake, not just for what we can get out of it, physically, emotionally or spiritually.
We are all on an unfinished journey to ecological awareness. This fine collection of readings, poems, theology and liturgy is intended to help us on our way.
Mary Low lives in the Scottish Borders and teaches in the Edinburgh University Centre for Continuing Education. Her other works include St Cuthbert's Way: A Pilgrims' Companion.