Indigenous Ecological Spiritualties and Christian Faith, Bossey, 6-10 July 2015 –
The main objective of the seminar is to examine the significance of Indigenous ecological spiritualties in their resistance against the exploitations and degradation of the natural world. Indigenous ecological spiritualties are rooted in the awareness of equilibrium of the natural environment, understanding and knowledge of one’s role and responsibility to the community, along with sensitivity to the spiritual essence of the world.
Involving leaders of Indigenous Peoples communities, the seminar will highlight Indigenous ecological spirituality as alternative to the current development paradigm which promotes and depends on unlimited growth, overconsumption and depletion of natural resources. It will grapple with the question of how the ecological crises can be overcome by promoting Indigenous ecological spiritualties. These spiritualties are crucial to fight the destructive dimensions of industrial production, power politics and human greed and to defend the integrity of the earth.
The seminar will be structured as follows:
1. Analysis of Indigenous ecological spiritualties against the background of the ecological crisis that we are facing today as global community.
2. Analysis of Indigenous ecological spiritualties as alternatives to the current anthropocentric development model of interaction between human beings and the natural world.
3. Analysis of some concrete examples of global and local initiatives that fight against the destructive forces of industrial production, power politics and human greed and defend the ecological integrity of the earth.
4. Group work and discussions on the questions: How can the ecological balance and health of the environment be restored? How can the spiritual alienation between humans and the natural world be restored? How can Indigenous ecological spirituality contribute to the ecumenical movement and the work for sustainability and climate justice?
5. Drawing from and sharing among the participants through group works and discussions the problems and challenges that they have faced in their own particular local contexts as well as the initiatives taken to deal with these problems and challenges will be an important element of the course.
6. Reporting and synthesizing of the whole process.
It is expected that about 30 participants – Indigenous peoples and those who are interested and are actively involved in ecological issues at various levels and in different capacities in the ecumenical formation – are improving their knowledge of Indigenous ecological spiritualties and are supported in contributing from this perspective to the pilgrimage of justice and peace from a wide spectrum of confessional, cultural, geographical, ethnic and gender representation.
The primary audience of this seminar will be Indigenous peoples and those who are interested and actively involved in solidarity with them and in working on ecological issues.
This activity will be implemented in close cooperation between the Ecumenical Institute, and the Programme Executive Staff working on Ecological Justice and Climate Change: Prof. Dr Marina Ngursangzeli Behera and Dr Guillermo Kerber