In a society increasingly driven by science and technology, world religions and the communities they inspire remain a vast and rock-solid political force. Going by the numbers alone, Pew Research Center estimated in 2015 that there were over 5 billion people of faith in our contemporary world, belonging to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faith-based cosmologies, including Indigenous and Native belief systems. Despite their outsized influence on so many aspects of our personal, social, and political lives, however, religious thinking and morality have struggled to gain a foothold in debates over a number of critical issues confronting our world today, including climate change and environmental justice, consumer capitalism, and solidarity struggles.
In this four-part series, host and climate correspondent Aman Azhar shines a light on how faith-based cosmologies inform and influence our political conduct, even in the most intimate of ways. These interdisciplinary conversations with thought leaders from different faith groups explore the intersections of religion and the politics of climate change. What sort of political actions do—and can—these worldviews inspire? Do the gods and followers of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism have a say in the future of our warming planet? If the answer is a resounding “Yes,” then why can’t we hear their voices more in popular media? Have they been muted? If so, why (and by whom)?
In Part 1 of this four-part series on interfaith approaches to climate change, Aman Azhar talks to Abdul Rehman Malik of Yale Divinity School about what counsel Islam has to offer on caring for the planet.
What personal and political action can Buddhist values inspire to fix the climate crisis and runaway consumerism? Does Buddhism hold any promise for our hyper-modern and gravely unequal world?
What does the Quran say about the relationship between human beings and the natural world—and how might this message inform how faith communities participate in the wider conversation around environmental justice? Aman Azhar talks it out with Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, author of the book “Green Deen.”
In the final episode of this series, Aman Azhar asks: what value do faith-based community groups have in addressing the climate crisis and why is it that we don’t hear much about faith groups’ engagement with political action on these contemporary issues?