Resource: Environment | Religions and the Environment
Religions and the Environment
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) website is a vast but tightly and logically structured resource which covers 11 religions and many projects, each in the same way. Choosing a particular religion leads to information presented in sections such as the following: quotes, new, beliefs, ecology, statement; links.
The site is text-based, and works best if students are given a sharply focused task rather than a general ‘research-based’ one.
a) Model to students how to navigate the site, using the religion you want them to work with as your example, and including the section on ecology in that religion shown in the section menu. Ask students to create a concept map with the name of the religion and the word ‘ecology’ in the centre e.g. ‘Christian ecology’, ‘Hindu ecology’ etc. They should include: key words (e.g. responsibility, stewardship); teachings (e.g. from sacred text, religious leaders) and examples of typical actions believers might take.
b) Ask students to navigate to ‘Projects by faith’ ( http://www.arcworld.org/projects_by_faith.asp). They should choose and read about one of the projects listed under the religion they are focusing on and:
i) highlight on their concept map anything which is mentioned both on the concept map and in the project description.
ii) Add any details about the project to the concept map, to illustrate and exemplify, and evaluate the relationship between the religious teachings identified, and the outcomes in terms of the chosen project.
iii) Students could create a similar concept map for a second religion they may be studying. This would enable useful comparisons to be made, and similarities and differences to be identified and discussed.
For more ideas:
Developing Secondary RE: Green Issues in Religions, ed Rosemary Rivett, is a 32-page booklet full of activities focusing on environmental issues suitable for work in RE. This publication is available online from RE Today; further details are available here.