[Air-L] Religious Dimension of Sustainable Development

Alexis Turner subbies at redheadedstepchild.org
Tue Jan 8 06:05:22 PST 2008


While no doubt a fascinating topic of conversation, I am not able to see 
that this directly relates to Internet research and would like to politely 
suggest we nip this conversation in the bud immediately.  There are more 
appropriate forums.
-Alexis


On Mon, 7 Jan 2008, Luis Gutierrez wrote:

::The Vol. 4, No. 1, January 2008 issue of the Solidarity, Sustainability,
::and Non-Violence (SSNV) Research Newsletter has been posted.  The theme
::this month is: "Religious Dimension of Sustainable Development."
::
::The link is: http://www.pelicanweb.org/solisustv04n01.html
::
::The summary (abstract) is pasted below.  I would be grateful for any
::feedback (positive/negative/in-between). Please let me hear from you.
::
::With best wishes for a good 2008,
::Luis
::-----------------------------------------------------------------
::SUMMARY
::
::The theme of the month is "religious dimension of sustainable
::development." There is a religious dimension to the United Nations'
::"Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs), and there is a religious
::dimension to human nature and everything we do. Religion is both
::indispensable and dangerous. It is indispensable to attain full human
::development beyond the physical, biological, and intellectual levels. It
::is dangerous when it degenerates into fanatical delusions about the
::absolute superiority of any particular religion, and then leads to
::religious intolerance and religious violence.
::
::Many consider religion to be a controversial topic. But, after millennia
::of misconceptions about religion, we now have scientific evidence
::(initially via the Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung) that religion is
::essential for human beings to become fully human. This being the case,
::our 2007 analyses of the MDGs is incomplete as long as some insight of
::the religious influences on the implementation of the MDGs is not
::provided. A difficult subject, but it cannot be avoided.
::
::In particular, religion is often an incentive (positive or negative) for
::the transition from patriarchy to solidarity, sustainability, and human
::development. Granted that financial gain (or loss) will probably remain
::as the key incentive for people to change behavior during our lifetime,
::futures research entails considering all conceivable possibilities. For
::instance, Abraham Lincoln once stated: "When I do good, I feel good;
::when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." Lincoln's "religion"
::many not qualify as religion in some quarters, but it points to the fact
::that, deep in the human psyche, there is the voice of conscience; the
::voice of God who abides in us but is bigger than us.
::
::After a brief summary of the MDGs (or "MDGs+1" when religious
::development is considered), evidence is presented that a cultural
::transition is needed to support both social justice and environmental
::justice at all levels. This cultural transition will entail changes in
::human behavior that often cannot be accomplished even when there are
::financial incentives. Indeed, it is hard to imagine any such transition
::happening without incentives that are stronger than financial gain
::and/or resources for domination. Since the power of religion as
::incentive for changing human behavior (for good or bad) is pervasive, it
::seems reasonable to research this angle next. This religious dimension
::has not been absent from any of the previous issues of this newsletter,
::but now it will become central.
::
::Incentives from a religious perspective are discussed for overcoming
::patriarchy and fostering social solidarity, environmental
::sustainability, and human development. In considering this material, it
::is essential to distinguish between "religion" and "religious
::institutions." Authentic religion is the expression of our relationship
::with God, and it is "good, good, good." Institutionalized religion can
::be "good, bad, or some mix of good and bad." Some specific religious
::institutions are mentioned. The intent is never to deny the significant
::amount of good done by those institutions. However, nothing human is
::above criticism. Religious institutions often need reformations, just
::like all other human institutions often need reformations. Some
::religious persons may feel uncomfortable. As always, we shall adhere to
::the principle of analysis based on objective evidence. Updates of the
::SSNV-MDG knowledge taxonomy and links database continue as time permits.
::The current version shows the links sorted by mega-disciplines, and
::within each mega-discipline by MDGs. This is "work in progress" but you
::are cordially invited to take a look at this resource and download it
::(free) for your own use (two options: HTML Web Page or EXCEL Spreadsheet).
::
::This month's invited paper is "Two Wings of a Bird: The Equality of
::Women and Men," a reflection by the National Spiritual Assembly of the
::Baha'is of the United States, published in 1997. The Baha'i religious
::tradition emerged in Persia (now Iran) in the 18th century. It is the
::first major religious movement that explicitly includes gender equality
::as a core belief.
::
::
::
::
::
::
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