The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecology

  1. Lemma
  2. Русская Православная Церковь и экология
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecumenism and dialogue > Education - Ecology and the environment
  6. 16-05-2018
  7. Петряничев, А. [Author]. Русская Православная Церковь и экология
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - Religious education - ecological crisis - ecological consciousness - environmental protection
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Петряничев, А. (2012) Русская Православная Церковь и экология. <em>Социальная экология</em>. Retrieved from: <a href="русская-православная-церковь-и-эколо/">русская-православная-церковь-и-эколо/</a> </p>
    1. The author argues that in today's world material needs of humanity increase uncontrollably, and so does industrial production and the extraction of natural resources. All this is accompanied by a barbaric attitude towards the environment and the catastrophic growth of consumption of irreplaceable natural resources, including fresh water - the basis of human life.

      The author points out that the Western model of "production and consumption", with its high standards of consumption, is not achievable for the entire population of the planet simply because there are not enough resources on the Earth. Even the UN failed to work out efficient mechanisms to optimize the production-consumption model. The problem, according to the author, is that ecologists cannot cope with it alone: eliminating the predatory attitude toward the environment is, to a large extent, a moral and spiritual problem. This is why the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) became interested in environmental issues and worked out its draft concept on the ecology: "Fundamentals of the Ecological Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church". The author welcomes the ROC’s initiative as he believes that it will boost discussion of environmental problems in Russia. The author concludes by quoting the draft document, which was published on several web-sites in June 2012 and was open for discussion.

      Given the importance of environmental issues, the ROC in its concept on the ecology promotes a theological discussion of ecological issues with other Orthodox Churches as well as other Christian and non-Christian religious traditions. It suggests taking into consideration the latest scientific data on the world and cooperate with scientific, public, state and international institutions in order to promote a responsible attitude toward nature and the environment.

      The ROC also encourages the clergy to pay greater attention to ecological issues. Notably priests are advised to take up environmental studies and learn about the functioning of the biosphere. The ROC suggests that children and youth be brought up in the spirit of responsibility toward nature, which can be achieved by introducing the basics of Christian ecological ethics into ecclesiastical and secular programs of education. It also advocates organizing special church courses and educational programs that reveal the Orthodox vision of environmental issues for students and scientific community. Monasteries and parishes are believed to have a great potential for the practical implementation of the Orthodox approach to ecology.

      At the same time the ROC sees prayer as an important tool to boost ecological awareness and activity. It argues that it is important to publish and diffuse the existing, adapted and newly developed prayers calling for God's help for agricultural and environmental activities. These prayers should also take into consideration the grievances of urban populations.