Day: May 4, 2015

Spirituality, Faith and the Environment

In a recent post I mentioned that I have been watching videos about faith, spirituality and the environment, among other topics. I wanted to share some of these videos. I stumbled across an excellent YouTube channel, Festival of Faiths, which is evidently an ecumenical and interfaith conference in the USA. I have come nowhere near plumbing the depths of this site, but I have watched a few of their Catholicism, contemplation and the environment videos and loved what I saw. As a spiritual Jesus-centred person with a degree in Environmental Sociology, it is so, so exciting and uplifting for me to hear that so many spiritual leaders are discussing the ways a spiritual-religious humanity can engage with the environmental problems of our time.

I will compile my favourite spirituality videos and share them here – look out for them, coming soon! As time progresses I might add other themes, too, particularly environmentalist videos. I hope my readers will find at least some of these useful and interesting.

Standard and probably unnecessary disclaimer that I will write anyway: In sharing these videos I am not suggesting that I wholeheartedly and necessarily agree with every view presented. I am not suggesting that I have considered all aspects of the faiths, denominations and worldviews represented by the speakers. I am not making any claims as to the factual veracity of their content. And while links are shared here in good faith, and are believed working and correct at the time of posting them on this blog, I cannot guarantee that the links will be working or lead to the correct videos.

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Are You An Anthropocentrist?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this summary of some of the amazing qualities of nonhuman animals.

Laura Grace Weldon

animal intelligence, anthropocentrism, Paradise, by Gillis d’Hondecoeter circa 1575

When I was growing up we were taught humans were at the top of every chart, far superior to all other living beings. Our textbooks, illustrated with stereotypical images of “cave men,” proved the assertion with a long list of what our species could do that others could not. The list was so smug that I was a bit embarrassed on behalf of my fellow homo sapiens. A skeptic even then, I thought the list was somewhat prejudicial. Worse, it didn’t acknowledge what feels obvious to young children, that we are all things and all things are us.

I don’t for a moment dismiss our many human accomplishments—among them language, science, the arts, and shared rules meant to advance mutual compassion. I simply mean to point out that we’re not better, we’re different.

Besides, what I was taught as a kid doesn’t really hold up. Here are…

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Odin’s Daily Shoe Hug

Sometimes he likes to hide toys inside the shoes and then act surprised when he finds a toy inside a shoe.

We wake up most mornings to find the shoes scattered around the shoe rack. I suspect it’s Odin, or a poltergeist. And if it’s our other cat, Riker, then he’s doing a good job ensuring that Odin is the one we blame.