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Religions and Beliefs

:
a way to enhance sustainability
Sunardi Sudianto

Master Programme on Environmental Studies, School of Graduate Studies

UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN

Symbolically. economic and social systems. interdependent relationship with the resources we need to survive that are only found in or derived from our natural environment and resources. which acknowledges our dependence on the health of natural systems for our survival and well. it refers to what is of true values. which can stand the test of time. and why does it matter?  Sustainability literally means the capacity to endure over time. sustainability strives for balance among the interconnected ecological. As implied from the most popular definition of sustainable development  So sustainability is concerned with our long term. What is sustainability. but transcends to future generations Master Programme on Environmental Studies. genuine and resilient. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . the limit carrying capacity of the Earth and the detrimental impact of unchecked human activities. Sustainability associates with balance and equity in a comprehensive approach. The idea is that we create a perspective that does not begin and end with us.  Thus. what is good.being.

School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . it is about human culture  Ecological crisis is also a crisis of culture and of the human spirit Master Programme on Environmental Studies. Challenges to Sustainability  Sustainabilty is not a matter of technology or science.

for better or worse  religion is now emerging alongside race. ethics influences resource use and distribution. and institutional power can shape behaviors and policies in ways that affect the environment. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . Worldviews shape attitudes toward the natural world. especially among indigenous peoples. Do we need religions for sustainable development?  religion is an orientation to the cosmos and to our role in it  Many of these characteristics give religion substantial influence over the environment. gender. rituals have been used to govern resource use. and ethnicity as one of the key identity markers of the twentieth century  two contested twenty-first century identity markers: religion and sustainability Master Programme on Environmental Studies.

The potential power of religion Adherent estimates in 2012 Master Programme on Environmental Studies. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN .

to decouple environmental and social problems from religion would be a retrogressive step for sustainable development  if the cause of environmental problems lies in religious ideologies.  If the ‘development crisis’ is in many ways intimately interwoven with religion. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . then the solutions must rise from the same source Master Programme on Environmental Studies.

What do we get from religion? Master Programme on Environmental Studies. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN .

Is sustainable development enough?  Negative imaginations of religions:  Christianity has borne the guilt for the ecological destruction of the planet (Lyn Whyte. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . it is oftentimes seen. and fill the earth. as incompatible with development altogether because of the repression of women in many Islamic cultures Master Programme on Environmental Studies. and subdue it. 1967). ‘Be fruitful and multiply. and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth’ (Genesis 1)  Hinduism is often seen in India as complicit in legitimizing social repression through the caste system  Hinduism has also been misappropriated for sanctioning untrammelled consumption  Islam. particularly in the popular imagination.

School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . RELIGION OFFERS VALUES:  the Christian notion of caritas as one vital way for religion to fill development’s ‘blind spot’ and calls for the restoration of the notion as a ‘non-utopian source of inspiration for the alleviation of human suffering’  Hindu dharma or notion of ‘duty’ or ‘ethics’ or the ‘right means’ as the potential for the most profitable connections between Hindu religion and sustainable development to be made Master Programme on Environmental Studies. Role of religions to sustainability A.

natural-supranatural  Principle of “adalah” or “justice” “We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs. and we sent down to them the Book and the balance.” (Al-Hadid (57): 16  The concept of “rahmat lil aalamin” or “mercy onto universe” “We have sent you out of mercy from us towards the whole world”. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . In Islam:  Doctrine of “tawheed” or “Oneness of God”. (Al-Anbiya (21): 107) Master Programme on Environmental Studies. no demarcation between man (society) and nature (ecology). that the people may uphold justice. bear the notion of one universe and one system.

School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . RELIGION DRIVES ECOLOGICAL & SOCIAL ACTIVISMS Eco-pesantren Indonesia Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka Chipko movement of the 1980s in India Master Programme on Environmental Studies. B.

translates into influence over ethics. influence over behavior Master Programme on Environmental Studies. C. moral authority  The capacity to influence cosmology. and in turn. therefore. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . CAPACITY OF ENABLING SELF DEVELOPMENT  The religions have capacity to shape cosmologies (worldviews).

Goals. knowledge legitmicay Religion & Belief Sustainable Behavior Master Programme on Environmental Studies.society- sustainability SOCIETY SCIENCE Negotiation of salience. Values Scientific credibility. School of Graduate Studies UNIVERSITAS PADJADJARAN . Religion: in the nexus of science .