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Ecology Is the New Theology (VIDEO)

03/14/2013 06:05 pm ET | Updated May 14, 2013

"Ecology is the new theology. Big history is the new Genesis. Those who fail to understand that evidence is modern-day Scripture, and that the world we live in is an honorable world, betray God and humanity in the most egregious of ways."

This is how I began a recent sermon urging religions to catch up with the "evidential reformation" pioneered by science. The quotes from Berry and Bateson, below the video player, clarify "an honorable world."

The world we live in is an honorable world. To refuse this deepest instinct of our being, to deny honor where honor is due, to withdraw reverence from divine manifestation, is to place ourselves on a head-on collision course with the ultimate forces of the Universe. This question of honor must be dealt with before any other question. We miss both the intrinsic nature and the magnitude of the issue if we place our response to the present crises of our planet on any other basis. It is not ultimately a political or economic or scientific or psychological issue. It is ultimately a question of honor. Only the sense of the violated honor of Earth and the need to restore this honor can evoke the understanding as well as the energy needed to carry out the renewal of the planet in any effective manner. ~Thomas Berry

If you imagine God outside and separate from creation, and you have the idea that you are created in God's image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you claim all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your people against the environment of other social units, other races, and the brutes and vegetables. If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate or simply of overpopulation and overgrazing. ~Gregory Bateson