An effective dialogue was generated at the 6th International Conference on Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics from diverse religious traditions and perspectives. The event commenced on 23 September in Crete with over forty theologians, as well as Christian and Muslim ethicists from Europe and beyond, addressing the theme “Ecological racism and prophetical voices for ecological crisis”.
The conference organised by the Orthodox Academy of Crete with support from the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) and the World Council of Churches, was held under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
“Today’s challenge of the humanity is to establish an ‘eco-friendly civilisation,’ which will be characterised by the ecological responsibility, the respect to the holiness and the beauty of the Creation,” said Patriarch Bartholomew in his message to the conference. This, the Patriarch stressed, is a matter of “emergency for our survival”.
Rev. Dr Peter Pavlovic, Study Secretary of CEC and ECEC pointed out, “Challenge of climate change requires not only an active stand, but at the same time, a clarity about the building stones of our Christian identity.” He added, “Climate change is an opportunity for exploring concrete implications of the normative commitments of Christian faith regarding love, freedom and justice, required for protection of human dignity and flourishing.”
Participants of the conference visited the local botanical garden to experience growing plants in a unique environment of Crete, manifesting a natural balance without any intervention of chemicals. The combination of practical experience with insightful theological discussion offered an opportunity for the conference participants to make a meaningful contribution to the efforts of addressing climate change by faith communities.