Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hope and mourning

Today's five panels were exhausting if not exhaustive, but I'm getting a better sense of the discussions which this community of dedicated thinkers and activists in the nascent field of Religion and Ecology have been having. Most striking is the recurrence of the question of hope, often accompanied by reflections on the need for mourning. If I spent more time with environmentalists I might be more familiar with this ebb and flow of urgency and despair. I'm familiar with the issues, with the reasons for despondency, rage, guilt and even terror, but I encounter them episodically. They can't really be said to ebb from my awareness because they never really flow in my life. What I sense here is a community in movement, or attempted movement. And so the question of hope is not an abstract one but situated in particular engaged struggles to make a difference, raise awareness, mitigate or even turn things around. It's not really about whether or not we've reached a point of no return, but how we do the best we can, wherever we are... which is why the question of mourning the lost, including those not yet lost but which we know will be squandered, is part of it.

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