Engaging in science-religion dialogue

MUSINGS OF A LEADER, The Good Oil, April 18, 2017

Engaging in science-religion dialogue

Science and religion are separate and distinct disciplines, but surely we must learn from the engagement of one discipline with the other, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

BY Clare Condon SGS*

“There is naivety in just saying there’s no God,” the eminent physicist, Professor Brian Cox, said in an interview with The Telegraph back in 2014. Brian Cox seems to be agnostic about the existence of God, but he does not dismiss it outright. In the same interview, he also said that profound questions about cosmology and human existence “have not been discussed widely; they need novelists and artists and philosophers and theologians and physicists to discuss them”.

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Gloucester Sustainable Futures Convention 2017

Faith Ecology Network Foray to Gloucester
By Anne Lanyon

I travelled to Gloucester in the inland midcoastal area of New South Wales for the Sustainable Futures Convention 2017. It was a local community based initiative which arose after their struggle against AGL’s attempts to open coal-seam-gas mining in the area. It seems that after the groundswell of opposition to CSG, community activism for sustainable futures for renewable energy, sustainable farming and other local initiatives are strong in the region, though the threat from mining still continues. The Rocky Hill Coal project is for an open cut coal mine which, if it goes ahead will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. www.communityrun.org/petitions/save-gloucester-from-yet-another-open-cut-coal-mine



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Is Sustainable Tourism an oxymoron?

The United Nations has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The UN states that tourism, as one of the largest and fastest-growing socio-economic sectors of our times, can stimulate economic growth, creating jobs and business opportunities that can help people escape poverty and improve their livelihoods.

But is Sustainable Tourism an oxymoron?



Firstly, consider some ecological impacts from tourism: carbon emissions from transport especially by air; pristine wilderness that is no longer so pristine once it is on the tourist map. Secondly, let's think about the impact on culture: do many tourists actually gain a real understanding of a new country and its people. Finally, think about the actual economic benefit for many local people: does a resort buy local food and employ local people? Was a local person coerced into selling their land to a developer for a lot less than it is really worth? 

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Laudato Si Online Conference

During Laudato Si’ Week (June 13-17, 2016), prominent speakers from different faiths and backgrounds dialogued about the crisis affecting our common home and reflected on the Pope’s Laudato Si’ message on occasion of its first anniversary.  



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Meditation and the Environment

The Environment Meditatio held in Sydney 22-24 April was a ‘transformative’ experience for the 350 people who attended. Bringing together significant speakers from the various disciplines of theology, philosophy, science and spirituality, it was both a sobering reminder of the ecological crisis we currently face and an inspiring call to action. Two FEN members, Mona Javam and James O'Brien, share their thoughts


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Two paths, one goal: Sufism and the climate justice movement


By Daniel Mostovac – presenter at PathWays Coalition for Diversity Education

“Humanity is endangered.”

So says Shaykh Taner, a Teacher of the Ansari Order of Sufis based in New South Wales. Originally from Turkey, Shaykh Taner and his wife Shaykha Muzeyyen have lived in the United States for the past 30 years and have recently toured Melbourne and Sydney, offering talks, meditations and healings. Sufism is a movement that originated in Islam some thousand years ago, often called the mystical interpretation of Islam. However, Sufism today can be practiced in a secular way. The Ansari Order makes no discrimination based on sex, gender, religion or politics, but welcomes anyone in search of peace and truth.

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Interfaith Statement on Climate Change

On 18th April 2016, an interfaith statement calling for urgent action on climate change will be presented to the President of the UN General Assembly in New York. FEN welcomes this call for action, and we encourage members of the public to sign the statement here.

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Reflections on the Impacts of Food on the Earth


"Food needs to be included in the strategy to alleviate global climate change
and biodiversity decline". Read more in the slide presentation by Dana Murty on the International Year of Pulses here.


Poems by a Scientist

Old One   


Old one

Living sculpture,
Hail melts at your base
And your curling bough-hand
Caresses the sky.

The wisdom of ages
Is engraved as scripture,
Each calligraphy stroke
An insect’s life history.

I keep thinking
‘You have lived so much …’
And we must seem
So ephemeral,
Such frantic mayflies
Here, then gone.

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Food and Faith

FEN members and staff from the Columban Mission Institute attended the launch of the FoodFaith Interfaith Community Garden on Wednesday 9 March.