GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
The engagement of the Orthodox Church with environmental issues must be one of the most positive things that has happened in the past few decades. It is something to be eagerly welcomed, not only because of the importance of these issues, but also because what we are seeing here is, potentially at least, very much a two-way process. Increased awareness of the crises facing our world challenges us to find new ways of living out our faith, and often reminds us painfully of how far our own example falls short of the faith we profess. It can take a voice from outside to jolt us into a fuller understanding of our own tradition, and we need to be open to such voices with great humility. But at the same time, the concerns of the environmental movement provide so many opportunities for a witness to our Orthodox faith, to the message of life and hope in the Saviour who so loved the world that He became part of His own creation. I want to look here at some of the areas in which, according to my limited experience, there seems potential for fruitful interaction between Orthodoxy and the environmental movement. These areas can be loosely gathered under four headings:
Man and his environment - a spiritual problem,
Do we need to save the earth?
In a global village, who is my neighbour?
A way forward - or a way back?