Welcome to the Faith Ecology Network - an interfaith network of people connecting faith with ecological awareness and care.

The Faith Ecology Network (FEN) is an Australian hub for strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion in the interests of advancing ecological consciousness and care for the Earth. We encourage action between different faith communities regarding ecological insights through holding events, producing publications and sharing information through our networks and on social media. Our network of people currently includes people embracing Aboriginal Spirituality, and Anglican, Bahá’í, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhist, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Quaker, and Uniting Church faith traditions (see more about each faith and what they say about Earth).

Read our July newsletter

Our aims

  • To share mutual appreciation of religious traditions regarding ecological insights
  • To discern and foster religious reasons for environmental advocacy
  • To strengthen the dialogue of science and religion between different faith groups, professionals and the community


What we do

Through the network we share the experience of religious and cultural diversity which enhances the depths of one’s own religious tradition. We learn from the sciences and grow in understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. We build up networks within and between faith traditions and environmentalists.

We share mutual appreciation regarding faith and ecology through:          

  • Producing publications about faith and ecology, resources and news
  • Holding public forums based on common faith and ecology themes
  • Dialogue with environmental professionals
  • Development of common statements on issues
  • FEN members passing on information and resources to their faith communities
  • Support of members with an annual enrichment day


We foster religious reasons for advocacy through:

  • Encouragement of action at local faith community level
  • FEN presence at rallies and public events
  • Promotion of FEN statements
  • Communication about opportunities for submissions on issues

The Faith Ecology Network (FEN) is undergoing a change and is currently being co-ordinated by a core group of volunteers as it transitions to a new mode of operation. For inquiries or if you would like to assist FEN in any way, please contact us on our new email address: [email protected] 

Help us by volunteering or donating

History

FEN began in 2003. The Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice, part of the Columban Mission Institute, initiated a meeting to promote the ability of people “to wonder” at earth’s complexities and their “will to care” about it. People from the Aboriginal, Anglican, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic and Uniting Church traditions planned a seminar. From that FEN was formed.

 

The word ‘ecology’ was integral to the FEN name since members wanted to respect and learn from the world of science and environmental movements. We affirmed that ‘interconnection’ is fundamental to ecological thinking. As people of faith we equally wanted to affirm the presence of a higher power or deity hidden-revealing within the earth itself. In 2004 we established an e-group.

 

FEN began to host regular public forums on a common area of interest. They invited ecological scientists to introduce each topic to set a level of professionalism. The forums have provided different faith insights and responses, sharing of rituals, opportunities for discussion, learning about resources, as well as socializing.

 

FEN believes in the importance of people of faith speaking publicly toinfluence public environmental opinion, so we produced statements on a particular forum topic.

 

FEN also decided to contribute within larger events such as the Pre-Parliament event for the 2009 World Parliament of Religions.

 

FEN began to hold Enrichment Days for its members. The first was held in 2010 at the North Head Sanctuary, Manly. In 2011, the Year of Forests, a day on forest ecology was held at Santi Forest Monastery, Bundanoon.

 

FEN has contributed to broader public awareness through its participation in Environmental Education seminars, radio interviews and contributions to publications.

 

FEN was administered for 13 years by the Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice.Since late 2017, FEN is run by volunteers and auspiced by the Sisters of Good Samaritan.

Volunteers from the different faith groups join together to plan events. FEN continues to grow as a network, operating mostly with the generous in-kind support of members, and donations from events held.

Help us by volunteering or donating

 

  • From the blog

    Australia’s Life Support Systems are on Life Support

    A Faith Response to Professor Lesley Hughes, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University. By Anne Lanyon.

    On World Environment Day 2021, Professor Lesley Hughes gave us a huge wake-up call about biodiversity collapse in Australia. The scientific information she shared with us challenges people of all faith traditions, especially leaders, to listen, learn and respond for the good of all life on Earth, our common home. I urge you to take a short time to look at Lesley’s presentation.

    I asked myself, Why isn’t the response from governments, the dominant media, the public, churches, mosques, temples as urgent as the response to the COVID pandemic? Why is there “greenwashing” to prioritise destructive land use legislation in the face of the truths of what Lesley, her colleagues and the others have said?”

    Is it because, as the “Johnny-Come-Latelies” in Earth’s evolutionary history, we still have much to learn about how dependant we are on biodiversity?”

    At my age and stage – an elder if you like – I have seen the disappearance of species with my own eyes.

    Read more

    Take Time for Nature: World Environment Day 2020

    Earth is our Common Home. We humans share it with all the other life on our planet. Earth is speaking to us about how we are inhabiting our Common Home. Are we listening? Do we know how to?

    2020 is a time when we have been forced to listen. In Australia with drought, bushfires, floods, rising temperatures, climate change, deforestation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, increasing marine pollution and now the COVID 19 pandemic, she is waking us up to the realisation that we are interconnected and interdependent. Nature may be able to do without we humans, but we certainly can’t do without Mother Nature.  

    Twelve years ago, at a 2008 series of seminars on Earth our Common Home, the Faith Ecology Network (FEN) as a coalition of believers from nine different faith traditions, affirmed that the Earth is sacred and that we are in solidarity with all people concerned for the Earth. We stated: “We recognise that we have failed to care for the Earth in words, attitudes or actions, that our attitudes must change, and it is now time for action. We said: we must create hope founded on guiding principles. To help bring us back to our senses, we need reinvigorated, focused and strong leadership from our all faith communities.”

    Further, we stated: As people of faith, we do not simply despair about the state of the Earth.

    On World Environment Day 2020, the Faith Ecology Network reiterates our 2008 determination.

    This year FEN is focussed on the Wonder of Biodiversity in solidarity with the United Nations Environment Program. As with the UN which has had to postpone its Conference on Biodiversity to have been held in China in October, FEN has had to postpone a Public Prayer Vigil plus a Public Forum. We all share a sense of WONDER at the natural world. The gift of learning from the sciences about the millions of Earth’s known species has enhanced our ability to WONDER at the singularity, complexity, beauty and intricacy of all of the web of life. Australia with its unique flora and fauna, especially is “one of seventeen countries described as being 'megadiverse'. This group of countries has less than 10% of the global surface, but supports more than 70% of the biological diversity on earth.”

    Therefore, we urge those from the many different faith traditions connected with FEN to spend time learning to listen to Mother Nature, to change our attitudes and to take time for action.

    A Suggested Action for you as Individuals as well as for your Faith Communities

    A practical way of growing in Wonder about Biodiversity in your own backyard, local park or place of worship is to join BushBlitz. It is claimed to be Australia’s largest nature discovery project where you can learn about the biodiversity in your own place and maybe even discover something new which you can record on the Living Atlas of Australia.

    Read more