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Alternative CCC Forum

A post contributed by Frances Orchard CJ

In addition to COP15, the official UN sponsored Climate Change Conference here in Copenhagen, there are various unofficial forums taking place away from the Bella Centre. This morning, feeling a need to get away from the politicians at COP15, some of the women religious present attended an event entitled ‘Addressing Climate Change by Awakening Oneness’ organised by the Global Peace Initiative of Women for the World Spiritual Leaders gathered in Copenhagen.

 The topic for the morning was ‘A New Partnership between Science and Religion’ with Sr Joan Chittister (US Benedictine sister), Andrew Harvey (author of ‘Hope’),  Sraddhalu Ranade (scientist and teacher from India), and  Michael Kagan (co-founder of the Jewish Climate Initiative, Israel) as the main speakers. Present were around sixty or so leaders from world religions – men and women from all over the globe.

 The inputs focussed initially on the historic, dualistic interpretations of various religious and theological traditions that have contributed to the patriarchal culture that so damaged our climate. But the main focus was on the need for world religions to use their insights and values to work together to provide spiritual solutions for an endangered humanity. The consensus on the need to understand the past in order to work together for the future was impressive. Many examples of practical collaboration at local level to create a more sustainable economy were high-lighted, but the main focus was on how to change our own perceptions, to see the universe as one and raise consciousness on the role of the spiritual to bring about the desired change.

 We were reminded, in the words of Edwards that ‘saints do not see what others do not see. Saints see exactly what other people see. They just see it differently’. We are all called to be saints – people who see differently.

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