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Greening spiritual disciplines: engaging in environmentally responsible behavior as a Christian spiritual practice

Harbman, Meredith Jocilyn (2022) Greening spiritual disciplines: engaging in environmentally responsible behavior as a Christian spiritual practice. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Modern Christianity has lost sight of the spiritual connection between belief in God and the need for environmentalism. In this day and age, this means action against the climate crisis. Christians who are not able to articulate relationships between their religious practice and environmental care may be unsure how their faith might compel advocacy on behalf of the climate. My project addresses this disconnect between Christianity and environmentalism. I propose that environmentally responsible behaviors like composting, gardening, and environmental advocacy could be reframed as spiritual disciplines for Christians who wish to cultivate a dialogue between their faith and environmental work. My focus is not to prove the reality of climate change or provide an ultimate solution, but rather to catalyze Christians who may harbor pro-environmental beliefs but are unsure what to do with them or Christians who love God but do not see why or how environmental care relates to their faith. I draw on the Christian tradition of spiritual disciplines to explain these ideas, suggesting that it might behoove the Christian community to embrace a set of “green” spiritual disciplines as a way to exist faithfully in this age of anthropogenic climate change. My hope is to use religion, specifically the underpinnings of Christian belief and theology that encourage environmental care, to empower Christians toward active engagement with environmental responsibility in the context of their faith.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Christianity; Climate Change; Environmental Care; Religion; Spiritual Discipline; Spiritual Practice
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences > School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2022 21:32
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2022 21:32
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5881

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