113: Mormonism and Environmentalism
How “green” is Mormonism? What is holding the tradition and culture back from becoming more environmentally sensitive—or even overtly activist? What theological and practical resources are there in Mormon thought and practice for fostering an ethic of greater care for the earth and its systems, including all the other forms of life with which we share the planet? How can Latter-day Saints who are environmentally active be effective in moving Mormon culture toward greener awareness and action?
Prompted by the release of the new Sunstone magazine issue with a terrific collection of articles and essays under the heading of “Earth Stewardship,” this episode features Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists George Handley, Rachel Whipple, and Craig Galli in a far-ranging conversation about their shared sense of Mormonism as a religion rich with scriptural and prophetic support, theological sensibilities, and practical wisdom and vehicles for teaching and acting with greater sensitivity toward the environment—and, in so doing, finding our way to a much more connected and fulfilling life. Topics range from sensibilities about Mormonism’s teachings about the intimate connection between spirit and matter, to resources for taking seriously the “intrinsic value” of all forms of life and the systems that sustain them, to the call to be “stewards” of the earth, to consumer/disposable culture, to fighting the sense of hopelessness (often leading in many to apathy) in the face of the difficulty of these issues, to more consciously choosing where to live and various sustainable practices we might adopt in an effort to align our lifestyles more closely with our spiritual values. It also features some great ideas for Primary and other ward leaders about how to more deeply unite their communities in life-enriching ways.
LDS Earth Stewardship
Home Waters (George Handley’s blog at Patheos)
Please suggest others!
Articles and Essays:
Rachel Whipple, “Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture” (Sunstone, June 2012)
Craig D. Galli, “Enoch’s Vision and Gaia: An LDS Perspective on Environmental Stewardship” (Dialogue, Summer 2011)
Craig D. Galli, Study Guide: LDS Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship (terrific source for scriptural and prophetic references related to Mormonism and the environment)
George B. Handley, “The Environmental Ethics of Mormon Beliefs” (BYU Studies 40, no. 2, 2001)
Dan Wotherspoon, “Reaching, Calling, Hungry, Thirsty: Imagining Abrahamic Creation” (Irreantum, Summer 2002. An error led to an earlier draft being the one published in the journal: titled there as “Keepers of the Stories”)
George B. Handley, Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River (University of Utah Press, 2010)
Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, edited by Terry B. Ball, George B. Handley, and Steven L. Peck (Religious Studies Center, BYU, 2006)