Religious education for environmental awareness: A new approach for fostering sustainable development

Noel Basil Effiong, Fordham University


This study investigates the value of the natural environment with a focus on the current ecological crisis. It explores the causes and effects of the current crisis from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing insights from scientific studies, economics, philosophy, theology and other academic disciplines. It also contends that theological and religious educational insights can offer a prophetic call for sustainable development as a way of addressing the environmental crisis. Moreover, the dissertation presents an argument for the claim that humans have an urgent responsibility to care for the environment for their own good, the glory of God, and the well-being of the entire creation, because humans like no other beings in creation are the measure of all things. This dissertation strives to raise awareness of the complexities of the contemporary environmental crisis, and suggests how religious educators can foster a practical sense of human moral responsibility to care for the environment. It also discusses how religious educators can enable people to interpret and make sense of contemporary environmental issues in their everyday lives and foster life-style changes that can contribute to sustainable development of the environment. From a specifically Christian perspective, this dissertation explores how the practices and forms of life of the church (such as liturgy, religious education programs, and community life) can contribute to "fashioning a people" who can understand and respond to the environmental crisis from distinctly Christian perspectives, and who can bring the moral insights of Christian faith traditions into broad social discussions about environmental issues. This researcher argues that religious education in all its forms should invite people to envision the fuller realization of the reign of God, and that today a Christian vision of the reign of God must include a concern for the well-being of creation.

Subject Area

Religion|Religious education|Sustainability|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Effiong, Noel Basil, "Religious education for environmental awareness: A new approach for fostering sustainable development" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3446880.