GreenSpirit, 2015 (ebook)
Reviewed by Ian Mowll
This ebook does what it says on the tin, taking the reader on a panoramic view of Earth centred teachings in different spiritual and religious traditions. 10 authors cover 10 different traditions: Christianity, Judaism, Paganism, Daoism, Hinduism, Indigenous traditions, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Creation Spirituality (Creation Spirituality as articulated by Matthew Fox, which helped to lay the foundations for GreenSpirit).
The territory covered is so vast that each chapter is often more of a personal reflection from someone either directly involved with the tradition or who is very knowledgeable about it. But this is what I like about this ebook: it is not an academic summary but more of a personal response – which, for me, brings the ebook alive. At the end of the ebook is an appendix on various initiatives by spiritual and religious organisations to promote sustainability, plus an appendix with inspirational quotations.
I find it hard to pick out a particular chapter as a highlight. I learnt something from each chapter and I came away with a feeling of commonality across all traditions. So often in GreenSpirit and alternative circles I hear people say that they are ‘Universalist’ – drawing from and respecting all spiritual traditions that seek to be part of a better world. In GreenSpirit, we see ourselves as deeply connected with the Earth and all sentient beings; this includes, of course, human expressions of spirituality. So, I am heartened to read this ebook which re-affirms my belief in a shared spiritual journey for all humans on this planet. That is not to say that all spiritual traditions are basically the same – they are not – but they each give their own unique reflection on that mystery which is beyond and which we cannot fully consciously grasp.
This ebook is part of the journey of connection with others of faith, something that is very much needed in our time of global communication and travel. And it helps us to understand each other and come together to face the global ecological and human issues of our time, which can only be solved through shared global action.