The Religious Roots of Environmental Justice
- Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory
- The New Polis
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The concept of “environmental justice” is a relatively recent addition to the discourses of religious and political theory. According to the Office of Legacy Management with the Department of Energy, environmental justice can be defined as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”
However, such laws are not sui generis, but have been elaborated in relatively recent times to long-standing spiritual attitudes and value propositions concerning what ought to be the human relationship to, and the character of our collective responsibility for, the natural order. Virtually all of the world’s historical as well as indigenous religious traditions harbor both implicit and explicit views about how human and non-human beings should cohabit as well as interact with each other.
The overriding question for the conference is in what specific ways do these traditions both inform and compel specific policies as well as ethical practices that constitute the spectrum of social action that counts as “environmental justice”.
October 13, 2023, 9:00am UTC
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