Environment and Ecology

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Guru Nanak and Ecology

Item Code: IDF804

by Gurbachan Singh Bachan

Hardcover (Edition: 2004)

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
ISBN 8177700901

Size: 8.6" X 5.6"
Pages: 308 (B & W Figures: 31)




About the Author:

Dr. Gurbachan Singh Retired as Professor and chairman of Guru Gobind Singh Chair, Guru Nanak Dev University on 30.6.2003. He did his M.A. & Ph. D. from Punjab University, Chandigarh.

He started his teaching career as lecturer in Geography Lyallpur Khalsa College, jalandhar from 1970 to 1978. He served as Programme coordinator N.S.S. Guru Nanak Dev University from 1.1.1979 to September 1996. He worked on deputation as state Liaison officer N. S. S. and as Director Youth Services Punjab. He also served as O.S.D. and Secretary S.G.P.C. from 1999 to April 2002.

At present Secretary General Earthcare Institute. An N.G.O. engaged in activities which tries to mitigate ecological problems on earth.



What is Ecology, system of Ecology, origin of Biology, Definition, ecosystem
Greek mythology, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Ecological perception of Guru Nanak
Pre Universe Era, Cosmic Haze Era, Creation of the present Universe, creation of Atmosphere, Land and water in Guru Nanak Bani, Creation of Mankind, Placement of Earth and Present Position, Mineral Wealth, Sun-Moon Relation, Rivers and River System, Guru Nanak and Water Mining, Flora and Fauna
Mythological Ecology, Historical Ecology, Ecology and Religious Institutions, Religious Landscapes, Value based Classification, Creation, Human Ecology, Life Styles Ecology, Man-woman Relationship, Friend ship Ecology, Service Ecology, Generative and Liberative Effects of Education
Ecology and Geography of Creator, Route of Creators, Appearance of Non Physical, Definition of Man, Divine Grace and Ecological Changes, God, Determinism, Possibilism.
Creation and Transmission of knowledge, Application of knowledge, Ecological Contribution of Guru Nanak, Nature of Guru Nanak Bani

Environment & Ecology in Islam - article collection

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compiled by Sheila Musaji

And We created from water every living thing.  Qur’an 21:30

“And We created from water every living thing.”  Qur’an 21:30

“Make not mischief on the earth” Qur’an 2:11

“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (God) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from evil).”  Qur’an 30:41

“There is not a moving creature on earth, or a bird that flies with its wings, but they are communities like you (humans).  We have neglected nothing in the Book; then unto their Lord they shall (all) be gathered.” Qur’an 6:38

Muslims are instructed to look after the environment and not to damage it:

Devote thyself single-mindedly to the Faith, and thus follow the nature designed by Allah, the nature according to which He has fashioned mankind. There is no altering the creation of Allah.
Qur’an 30:30

This is part of a Muslims responsibility to God:

Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any pillars that you can see. Then He settled Himself on the Throne, and constrained the sun and the moon; each one pursues its course during an appointed term. He regulates it all and explains the Signs in detail, that you may have firm belief in the meeting with your Lord. He it is Who spread out the earth and made thereon firmly fixed mountains and rivers, and of fruits of every kind He has made pairs. He causes the night to cover the day. In all this, verily, are signs for a people who reflect.  Qur’an 13:2-3



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Ecotheology is a form of constructive theology that focuses on the interrelationships of religion and nature, particularly in the light of environmental concerns. Ecotheology generally starts from the premise that a relationship exists between human religious/spiritual worldviews and the degradation of nature. It explores the interaction between ecological values, such as sustainability, and the human domination of nature. The movement has produced numerous religious-environmental projects around the world.

The burgeoning awareness of environmental crisis has led to widespread religious reflection on the human relationship with the earth. Such reflection has strong precedents in most religious traditions in the realms of ethics and cosmology, and can be seen as a subset or corollary to the theology of nature. Christian ecotheology draws on the writings of such authors as Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, process theologian Alfred North Whitehead, and is well-represented in Protestantism by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Jürgen Moltmann and ecofeminist theologians Rosemary Radford Ruether, Catherine Keller and Sallie McFague. Creation theology is another important expression of ecotheology that has been developed and popularized by Matthew Fox, the former Catholic priest. Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Buber, both Jewish theologians, have also left their mark on Christian ecotheology, and provide significant inspiration for Jewish ecotheology.

Hindu ecotheology includes writers such as Vandana Shiva. Seyyid Hossein Nasr, a liberal Muslim theologian, was one of the earlier voices calling for a re-evaluation of the Western relationship to nature.


Precedents in religious thought

Christianity has often been viewed as the source of negative values towards the environment (see below), but there are many voices within the Christian tradition whose vision embraces the well-being of the earth and all creatures. While St. Francis of Assisi is one of the more obvious influences on Christian ecotheology, there are many theologians and teachers whose work has profound implications for Christian thinkers. Many of these are less well-known in the West because their primary influence has been on the Orthodox Church rather than the Roman Catholic Church.

The significance of indigenous traditions for the development of ecotheology can also not be understated.


The relationship of theology to the modern ecological crisis became an intense issue of debate in Western academia in 1967, following the publication of the article, "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis, " by Lynn White, Jr., Professor of History at the University of California at Los Angeles. In this work, White puts forward a theory that the Christian model of human dominion over nature has led to environmental devastation.

In 1973, theologian Jack Rogers published an article in which he surveyed the published studies of approximately twelve theologians which had appeared since White's article. They reflect the search for "an appropriate theological model" which adequately assesses the biblical data regarding any relationship of God, humans, and nature.

Further exploration

Elisabet Sahtouris is a biologist who promotes a vision she believes will result in the sustainable health and well-being of humanity within the larger living systems of Earth and the cosmos. She is a lecturer in Gaia Theory and a co-worker with James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.

Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, also combined observations on nature and philosophical explorations in several ecotheological writings, including Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Valerie Brown is a science and environmental journalist based in Portland, Oregon, whose work has appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives, 21stC, and other publications. She writes regularly about ecotheology.

Terry Tempest Williams is a Mormon writer who sensitively and imaginatively explores ecotheology in her very personal writing.

The majority of the content of Indians of the Americas, by former Bureau of Indian Affairs head John Collier, concerns the link between ecological sustainability and religion among Native North and South Americans.

See also


  • Rogers, J. (1973). "Ecological Theology: The Search for an Appropriate Theological Model." Reprinted from Septuagesino Anno: Theologiche Opstellen Aangebsden Aan Prof. Dr. G. C. Berkower. The Netherlands: J.H. Kok.
  • White, L. Jr. (1971). "The Historical Roots of our Ecologic Crisis." Reprinted in A.E. Lugo & S.C. Snedaker (Eds.) Readings on Ecological Systems: Their Function and Relation to Man. New York: MSS Educational Publishing.
  • "Why Care for Earth's Environment?" (in the series "The Bible's Viewpoint") is a two-page article in the December 2007 issue of Awake! magazine. This represents the Bible's viewpoint according to the viewpoint of Jehovah's Witnesses.

External links


Live the Future

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ON's advisory service

Operation Noah Operation Noah is offering a new advisory service to churches and communities. ‘Live the Future’ is a call to people of faith to take on a leadership role in their towns or cities, by living a transformed and rapidly de-carbonised life – in community. Such leadership is vital to help avert the threat posed to Creation by human-induced global warming.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree: so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof......”
Matthew 13:31

The time for talk on climate change has ended. We acknowledge that the financial and ecological crisis has revealed a yearning in society for moral and spiritual leadership and for a sense of wholeness and connectedness.


What does Hinduism teach us about ecology?

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What does Hinduism teach us about ecology?

HinduismLife is sacred

All living beings are sacred because they are parts of God, and should be treated with respect and compassion. This is because the soul can be reincarnated into any form of life. Hinduism is full of stories that treat animals as divine, such as how Krishna used to herd cows, or how the monkey Hanuman was a faithful servant of the Rama. Most Hindus are vegetarian because of this belief in the sanctity of life. Even trees, rivers and mountains are believed to have souls, and should be honoured and cared for.

Simple living

The virtue of a simple life has always been prized in Hindu society. Teachers, or brahmanas, are advised to live on the charity of others and not accumulate too much wealth. The most highly respected person in Hindu society is the sadhu, or sage who lives outside normal society, in forests or caves, or travels on foot from one town to another. Sadhus take pride in living simply and consuming as little as possible.

Inner peace

Hinduism stresses that true happiness comes from within not from outer possessions. This means that the search for material possessions, and the consumption of materials and energy it brings, should not be allowed to dominate life. Life’s main purpose is to discover the spiritual nature and the peace and fulfilment it brings. The efforts to exploit the things of this world is considered by Hindu teachers to be a distraction from this central purpose of life.

How do Hindus care for the environment?

HinduismHindus revere sacred rivers, mountains, forests and animals, and love to be close to nature. For example, many Hindu villages have a sacred lake, and around it a grove of trees to catch rainfall and protect the banks from erosion. The lake and its grove store rainfall to irrigate surrounding fields and supply village wells with drinking water. These lakes and groves are places of tranquillity and sanctuaries for wildlife, but in recent times the neglect of these simple techniques for gathering and protecting clean water has led to serious water shortages and advancing desertification in many parts of India. This is a common story in India: traditional Hindu practices of caring for nature are being forgotten and as a result human survival is becoming more difficult.


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