Sustainability and Spirituality
By John E. Carroll

Published by State University of New York Press

‚”Infinite growth in a finite environment is an absurdity,‚” writes John E. Carroll (KNFP-3), professor of Environmental Conservation at the University of New Hampshire, in his new book, Sustainability and Spirituality. John‚’s warning that modern society‚’s increasingly consumptive lifestyle cannot be sustained is indisputable. What is new to the discussion of sustainable lifestyles is John‚’s discovery that a number of spiritually based communities are modeling environmental sustainability.

These groups, he writes, ‚”‚have deliberately set out on a path to ecological sustainability, interpreting such as God‚’s command to them, indeed to all of us.‚” Several examples of sustainable eco-spiritual communities are cited, including those that have now banded together as the Sisters of Earth network. All share the practices of:

using energy-efficient construction methods
utilizing ecologically sound agriculture practices
employing renewable energy sources
educating others in the practices of ecological restoration
practicing ritual in keeping with their spiritual orientation

Spiritually based communities, John explains, ‚”can offer an alternative value system that is solidly grounded in theory and values, and that applies those values daily‚, in energy use, eating, clothing and habitat, and all that truly fulfills and enriches our lives. And,‚” he adds, ‚”they do so in community, which is likely the only way we can aspire to true sustainability.‚”

Ultimately, Sustainability and Spirituality provides the reader with a glimpse into the ensuing ‚”Ecozoic Age,‚” when, foresees John, ‚”people move away from a preoccupation with self and toward environmental and social questions at the community level.‚”

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