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The increasing awareness of environmental issues as ultimately moral issues has led to the intersection of religion and environment. Sacramental Commons presents a unique way of looking at this topic by relating the Christian word 'sacrament' (signs of divine presence) to the term 'commons' (shared place and shared goods, among people and between people and the natural world), suggesting that local natural settings and local communities can be a source for respect and compassion. Sacramental Commons uses Earth-oriented biblical teachings, and ideas from such thinkers as Hildegard, St. Francis, John Muir, and Black Elk, to provide insights about divine immanence in creation, human commitments to creation, and human accountability to the Spirit, Earth, and biotic community. It extends the concept of 'natural rights' beyond humans to include all nature, and affirms intrinsic value in ecosystems in whole and in part. Sacramental Commons declares that the Earth commons and its goods should be shared equitably by human communities and individuals living in interdependent relationships with other members of the community of life. It suggests essential values that will stimulate care for the commons, and embodies them in principles of an innovative Christian Ecological Ethics.
John Hart is Professor of Christian Ethics at Boston University, teaching courses in social ethics, environmental ethics, liberation theology, science and Christianity, and social and ecological justice. His other books include What Are They Saying About...Environmental Theology?, Ethics and Technology: Innovation and Transformation in Community Contexts, and The Spirit of the Earth-A Theology of the Land.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Dedication Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction: Sacramental Creation Chapter 4 Part 1. Creation Part 5 1. Sacramental Universe Part 6 2. The Spirit of St. Francis Part 7 3. Native Spirits Chapter 8 Part 2. Commons Part 9 4. Sacramental Commons Part 10 5. Living Water Part 11 6. Species Survival Chapter 12 Part 3. Community Part 13 7. Nature's Natural Rights Part 14 8. Commons Good, Common Good and Common Goods Part 15 9. Job, Injustice and Dynamic Nature Chapter 16 Part 4. Common Ground Part 17 10. Jubilee in the Commons Part 18 11. Commons Commitments: Ecological Ethics Part 19 12. Spirit, Commons and Community Part 20 Selected Bibliography Part 21 Index