"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The "Green Patriarch"

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has long been known for his ecological activism, as I have noted before.

Now Oxford University Press, next month, will bring out his latest reflections on the topic: On Earth As In Heaven: Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought) 384pp.

About this book, the publisher tells us:
Over the past two decades, the world has witnessed alarming environmental degradation--climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the pollution of natural resources--together with a failure to implement environmental policies and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. During this same period, one religious leader has discerned the signs of the times and called people's attention to our dire ecological and social situation: His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the worldwide leader of the Orthodox Churches. As this new volume of his writings reveals, Patriarch Bartholomew has continually proclaimed the primacy of spiritual values in determining environmental ethics and action. For him, the predicament we face is not primarily ecological but in fact spiritual: The ultimate aim is to see all things in God, and God in all things.
On Earth as in Heaven demonstrates just why His All Holiness has been dubbed the "Green Patriarch" by former Vice President Al Gore (recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental activism) and the media. This third and final volume of the spiritual leader's selected writings showcases his statements on environmental degradation, global warming, and climate change. It contains numerous speeches and interviews in various circumstances, including ecological symposia, academic seminars, and regional and international events, over the first twenty years of his ministry. This volume also encompasses a selection of pastoral letters and exhortations--ecclesiastical, ecumenical, and academic--by His All Holiness for occasions such as Easter and Christmas, honorary doctorates, and academic awards.
On Earth as in Heaven is a rich collection, essential for religious scholars, those looking for a deeper understanding of Orthodox Christianity, and anyone concerned with the environmental and social issues we face today.

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