Christian perspectives underpinning environmental education

At the meeting of the Education Coalition during the ECEN conference in Loccum, October 1999, we listed some important biblical insights and Christian faith perspectives:

  • The whole of the world, the entire ‘Earth community’, is God’s concern, created by God in and for love, with humankind a partner in the ‘integrity of creation’. The loving purposes of the Creator have been decisively shown in Jesus.
  • The freedoms within creation that culminate in the potential for relationships of love and trust also allow the purposes of the compassionate, forgiving God to be thwarted. Human beings therefore carry moral responsibility for their actions and Christians have a vital contribution to make to the discussion with regard to ethical judgements.
  • Christians are called to build a ‘culture of peace’. But the command to ‘love God and love your neighbour’ is incompatible with the pursuit of ‘progress’ perceived in terms of individual self-interest, greed and money.
  • Christians are called to live by grace and forgiveness, accepting life as a gift to be shared, letting go of an obsession with control over others and over the rest of Creation.
  • Christians should seek justice, i.e. the healing of broken relationships and the rebuilding of community. New ways should be explored to ‘give account’ of, indeed to foreshadow, the kingdom of God, responding to the Spirit’s work of love, peace and justice in our midst. Social justice and eco-justice must be pursued together.