Religion and Ecological Crisis

  1. Lemma
  2. Religija i ekoloska katastrofa
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Ecology and the environment
  6. 18-11-2018
  7. Pavlović, Vukašin [Author]. Religion and Ecological Crisis. 201–217
  8. Ecology, Religion, Ethics - Belgrade: Zavod za udzbenike, 2013.
    1. Pavlović, Vukašin
  9. ecological crisis - ecological consciousness - Sveti Prohor Pčinjski
    1. The author first quotes the legend of the first ecological saint in Serbian context. Usually, when the Christian saints are related to ecology, it starts with Francis of Assisi who lived at the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century. He was proclaimed the patron saint of ecology in 1979 by the John Paul II. The author points at Saint Prohor Pcinjski (St. Prohor of Pcinja) who lived in Serbia earlier than that – in the 11th century. He lived on the banks of the river Pcinja, a pristine place. One day, a Byzantium potentate Roman Diogenes was hunting and wanted to kill a hind there. However, the old man managed to convince the potentate not to kill the hind and foretold him that he would become the emperor of Byzantium. Many years later, the prophecy was fulfilled and the Emperor came back to express gratitude to the old man. The old man had died by then, and his body was found incorrupt in the cave. As an expression of gratitude, the Emperor build a church Prohor Pcinjski that later became a monastery, very important for the preservation of cultural and spiritual life of Serbian Orthodoxy. Hence, the author claims that Saint Prohor Pcinjski may be the first saint–ecologist in our setting.

      The author further explains the relation of the man and ecology by pointing to the stories from the Bible such as the Noah’s Arc which directly reflects on the ecological crisis and the role of the man in it. Christianity as monotheism cut relations with animism and thus put nature behind the man. That further in some way allowed the man to destroy the nature and not consider it as God’s creation and divine itself.

      The paper is very important not only for retelling the story of the first saint–ecologist, but also due to the highlighting the places in Christianity that gave place to the man to neglect the nature and to see it as a means for the progress.