Problems of the Ecology of the Soul in the Bible and the Russian Orthodox Tradition

  1. Lemma
  2. Проблемы экологии души в Библии и русской православной традиции
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecology and the environment
  6. 05-07-2018
  7. Зямалова, Наталья Ивановна [Author]. Проблемы экологии души в Библии и русской православной традиции
  8. Известия Российского государственного педагогического университета им. А.И. Герцена
  9. materialism - environment - pollution - environmental protection - Russian Orthodox Church - ecological crisis - spirituality - Orthodox spirituality
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    1. <p>Зямалова, Н. И. (2009). Проблемы экологии души в Библии и русской православной традиции. <em>Известия Российского государственного педагогического университета им. А.И. Герцена</em>, (119). Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The author points out that ecological problems are considered in a number of works by contemporary Russian Orthodox theologians. As explained in Orthodox literature, the Bible contains the commandments given by God to man for well-being and prosperity in all spheres of life, including ecology.

      According to the Bible, God created a perfect and beautiful world, and made sure that this world had enough resources to meet the needs of people. Despite this, according to Christian thought, the human being threatens and is capable of destroying this harmony. People who were invited by God to take care of his creation, the Bible argues, used this commandment to justify abuse and violence toward the world and nature. According to the author, this negative evaluation of all human activities is partly grounded: the modern post-industrial society is torn by contradictions, conflicts, catastrophes, and faces serious environmental problems. At the same time the Bible proposed solutions to ecological problems outlined by the prophet Joel who is rightly called the "prophet of ecology." Joel indeed proposed seven steps leading to a better ecology:

      1) necessity to understand the ecological situation;

      2) necessity to change values and way of life;

      3) necessity to focus on the environment and spirituality;

      4) necessity to warn people about the coming trial and destruction;

      5) restoration of nature and society;

      6) the understanding of individual responsibility of each human;

      7) consideration of ecological issues as part of politics and the economy.

      Orthodox Christian theologians agree with this vision and emphasize the deep connection of the ecological crisis with the deformation of the worldview, with a violation of the "ecology of the soul", which can be defined as the preservation of healthy moral principles. According to the Russian Orthodox Church, environmental projects, despite the best of intentions, will not have any effect unless humans change their hearts through repentance, self-denial, self-control, and willingness to go past what is desired.

      This view is now shared by many secular organizations and public personalities. It is now being realized that modern society pays too expensive the price for its consumerist attitude to the environment. Thus nature management methods are being revised, attempts are being made to create resource-saving technologies and non-waste production. The public consciousness that is guided by such principles opposes the consumer lifestyle, calls for an increase in moral and legal responsibility for the harm done to nature, proposes to develop environmental education and urges broad international interaction to solve ecological problems. The author concludes by stating that the views of the contemporary Russian Orthodox Church on environmental issues are largely in tune with modern secular, scientific positions in solving environmental problems.