Religions of the World and Ecology home


Daniel C. Maguire is a Professor of Ethics at Marquette University. He has been president of both The Society of Christian Ethics and The Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health, and Ethics. Among his books are Death By Choice (1974), A New American Justice: Ending the White Male Monopolies (1980), The New Subersives: Anti-Americanism of the Religious Right (1982), The Moral Revolution, (1986), The Moral Core of Judaism and Christianity (1993), and he is currently researching The Moral and Legal Revolution in Health Care.

 

Abstract of paper given at Christianity and Ecology conference:
Population-Consumption-Ecology: The Triple Problematic

Population, consumption, and ecology are not separable in ethical inquiry. In spite of recent efforts to say population is no longer a concern due to depopulation in certain countries, much of the poverty-stricken earth is suffering from the ecological and political stresses caused by overpopulation. Complicating population discussions today are the influences of religious natalism and the phenomenon known accurately as "green racism" and "environmental racism," successors to "lifeboat ethics." Unsustainable consumption, according to Buddhist David Loy has been sacralized. Market capitalism, he says, is functioning as a world religion-the most successful and fast moving religion in the history of the world- assigning values and defining salvation in consumerist terms. The world religions, he submits, are in default in meeting this challenge, behaving, he says, as if they were senile if not moribund. However, Jewish and Christian biblical religion has a prophetic tradition that has a demonstrated power to effect structural change and not just settle for personal conversion. That tradition houses a profound and subversive social psychology and intimates the ingredients of an alternative political economy that is highly relevant to our triple problematic.

Back to:

Christianity and Ecology conference participants

Culminating conference participants