Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The work of the 4th International Scientific Conference on ‘Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics’, which was organized by the Institute of Theology and Ecology of the Orthodox Academy of Crete at the facilities of the Foundation from 2 to 5 June 2015, has been concluded.
The works of the 4th International Scientific Conference on ‘Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethics’, which was organized by the Institute of Theology and Ecology of the Orthodox Academy of Crete at the facilities of the Foundation from 2 to 5 June 2015, have been concluded.
The conference was under the aegis of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios, who was represented by His Eminence the Metropolitan of Proikonnisos Joseph. In his message, His All Holiness stressed that ‘Orthodox theology, the theology of the fathers of our Church, calls humans to seek equality with God not in technology, but in humility and repentance. Human pleasure seeking and egotism are the root cause of environmental disasters. If we do not resist them through spiritual struggle and the purgation of the soul from passions, the degradation of the environment cannot be stopped’.
This conference was held thanks to the joint action of the World Council of Churches, the Pan-European network Planta Europa, the Municipality of Platanias, as well as ecological organizations from Greece and abroad. The participants were representatives of churches, environmental organizations and academic Foundations from all over the world (Austria, France, Switzerland, USA, Japan, India, Canada, Qatar, Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, etc.), while the participation of His Eminence the Metropolitan of Kissamos and Selinon Amphilochios, as well as His Eminence the Metropolitan of Kydonia and Apokoronas Damaskinos, was highly important. There were in total 28 main talks, poster presentations, discussions and various other ecological actions.
The General Director of the Foundation, Dr. Konstantinos Zormpas, both in his welcoming talk and in his speech at the conference, elaborated on the significance of ecological theology in the daily life of Christians, and he presented the ecological initiatives adopted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He also urgently stressed the necessity for environmental protection and the maintenance of biodiversity, indicating the ethno-spiritual roots of the worldwide ecological crisis and the size of human responsibility towards the natural environment.
In addition to the conference on 5 June, as part of the celebration of the International Day of the Environment, the Orthodox Academy of Crete, in collaboration with the Department of Primary Education School Activities and its head, Ms E. Kavazidou realized the second consecutive annual inter-school meeting of primary education school units, implementing environmental education programs, including planting carob, donated by Ioannis Kasapakis (allaboutcarob.com). In the afternoon, teachers and education professionals participated in a scientific soiree, with remarkable speakers, with reference to local, national and international networks and organizations, which have a determinant role in the development of an ecological conscience.
Finally, in the conclusions of the conference, it was stressed that full support is provided to the initiative of the Orthodox Academy of Crete regarding the creation of an energy partnership aimed at saving energy, but also at developing systems of mild forms of energy production, with respect for the natural environment of Crete. Moreover, it was determined that there is a necessity for the cooperation of theology, philosophy, sciences and arts, for the purpose of overcoming the multi-faceted crisis, and the feasibility of reinforcing the inter-faith and inter-scientific dialogue on issues of ecology was underlined.