Conclusions

Our world is facing simultaneously a multitude of crises: a worldwide financial and economic crisis "of historic proportions," a severe food crisis in many parts of Africa, wars and insurrections, corrupt and incompetent governments, not to speak of the multitudinous natural catastrophes of the past few years: tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and earthquakes.

There are predictions of even more worldwide disaster impending: wars fought over scarce resources wiping out the majority of the world's population in the process; calculations, that the economic fallout from global warming would surpass the effect of all other crisis put together. No single person and no single government can solve these crises once for all: they will be with us forever, or - as long as humankind exists.

One good could arise from this predicament: the willingness of people to come together to address this global crisis globally. Instead of competing with each other, claiming superiority of race or religion, playing out ideological games or trying to trick each other out on world-markets, people may realize that it makes more sense to work together. The scientific acumen of the human race that has caused so much of our predicament could be employed to also solve the problems it has created. The religious emphasis on the sacredness of nature and the interdependence of all life could help to create an intellectual climate in which care for nature will be regarded a universal duty. Once a large enough part of humanity has undergone the necessary mind-change and has begun to act on these insights, a healing process will begin in nature for the benefit of all.

This essay has tried to show that adherents of many religions have become ecologically aware and active and that religiously motivated eco-activism is making a difference. It also made a case for a "return to nature" in the development of a viable theory of ecology, articulating features of a "re-invented nature" as the basis of an interpretation of nature as source of an ecological morality, finally suggesting that "peace with nature" is inseparably linked to "peace among people."

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