A Quaker Way to Earth Care

Cherice Bock worries about the human tendency to separate our spiritual concerns from our material condition—a problem she traces back to a dualist philosophical tradition that elevates “culture” over “nature.”

“For many of us who have been taught that our whole lives, it’s hard to feel connected to the natural world,” she reflects. That’s why she and Christy Randazzo have worked out another way of thinking, drawing upon Quaker tradition to inform an eco-conscious sensibility.

Cherice invokes the metaphor of the Light to show how people and other creatures are part of an interconnected system. “As we learn better how to be part of the community,” she explains, “we don’t have to try to control all of it and be above nature. We are participants and beloved members of the community.”

5 thoughts on “A Quaker Way to Earth Care

  1. My faith experience resonates with Charice Bock’s words. Understanding all aspects of nature as beings evolved by the Divine Spirit has transformed my life. Reconnecting with the four elements – air, earth, fire and water – while recognizing that we ARE the elements is a foundational principle of climate justice. We earthlings will have harmony with each other and nature when we practice reciprocity and gratitude. Within Quakerism, a faith that is open to continuous revelation, I am finding spiritual space that expands my relationship with,
    God, the Divine Light, the Christ within – or however one names the ALL.

  2. Cherice, well said! It’s part of our cultural foundation to see ourselves as separate and in dominion over our non-human cousins, but we are not separate, and “dominion” is slow suicide. We must change our culture, which means changing our narratives and the metaphors within them.

    Please consider adding your work to the Eco-Spiritual Hub: https://ecospiritualhub.org.


  3. I’ve been reading and absorbing the wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen (1098- 1179), a Christian mystic whose writings have inspired to spend time in nature. To pay close attention to anything, even a tiny beetle. Look, listen, touch, smell.

    “Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside you’ve got heaven and earth and all of creation. You’re a world -everything is hidden in you.”

    “We shall awaken from our dullness and rise vigorously toward justice. If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper we will respond to its endangerment with passion.”

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