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God, the Earth and Humanity in the Book of Micah

JRI is pleased to announce the publication of Briefing Paper No28 by Keith Innes, a study exploring the nature and limits of the community of creation with reference to the Old Testament book of the propheVine and Grapest Micah. DOWNLOAD PAPER

“God, the Earth and Humanity in the Book of Micah” covers three themes: the involvement of the Earth in salvation and judgment; the significance of reversion to nature; and the status of inanimate things in the Earth community. Much natural imagery is used in the book of Micah and the study explores the spiritual reality beyond the simply metaphorical, in addition to the more direct challenges and warnings to a market economy rife with dishonesty and an increasing gap between rich and poor.

Keith Innes retired from parish ministry in 1997 and has since obtained a M.Phil degree at Bristol University on “Wilderness in the Old Testament” and published several papers on ecotheology. This is an 8 page document in pdf format (link opens in new window).

Progress or Problem? Responding to Genetically Modified Food and Crops

JRI is pleased to announce the publication of Briefing Paper No. 27 by John Weaver. This is a 12 page report summarising the Environment Day Conference at Redcliffe College, Gloucester, held on 2nd March 2013. DOWNLOAD PAPER

With contributions from Joe Perry, John Weaver, Martin Hodson and Christopher Jones MBE, the conferencWeaverGMCConfe identified the technology behind what are generally termed ‘GM Crops’ and set out the global and scientific context for the debate which has ensued. The contributors explored the nature of risks arising from their use, the influence on policies across many areas from environment and ethics to business and globalisation, and the impact at the local level. Positive and negative arguments were proposed with issues of population growth and food security set alongside the ethical issues raised by the adoption of this technology. A Christian theological perspective was also presented, with a discussion encouraging a coherence to God’s wisdom.

John Weaver is the Chair of JRI and formerly lecturer in Practical Theology and the Dialogue between Christianity and Science at Oxford and Cardiff universities.

Working with Australian church youth to respond to climate change

Working with Australian church youth to respond to climate change: improvisational drama as an educational tool

Sally Shaw

Sally Shaw

JRI is pleased to announce the publication of Briefing Paper No. 26 by Sally Shaw. This is the second of our briefings which has more of a social science research focus, and is therefore longer than usual at 20 pages. DOWNLOAD PAPER

With increasing evidence in Australia of climate change crisis, the focus of this research was young people. The hypothesis is that improvisation drama is an effective teaching tool that can influence the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of Australian youth attending church youth groups and encourage them to take action on the issues of climate change. The research methods were pre- and post- workshop questionnaires, drama activities, a visioning exercise and focus group discussions. Significant changes in the pre- and post- workshop questionnaires were recorded.

Sally Shaw is on the steering group for Friends of A Rocha and presently working on teaching materials for churches on why Christians need to care for God’s creation.

Sustainability and Ethics

Sustainability and Ethics by Ian Arbon & John Weaver

Sustainability and Ethics by Ian Arbon & John Weaver

The John Ray Initiative is pleased to announce the publication of “Sustainability and Ethics” by Ian Arbon and John Weaver. This 44 page paper has been produced in association with the Industrial Christian Fellowship. Ian Arbon is an engineer and was a former Chair of JRI, and John Weaver is a theologian and is the present Chair of JRI. After an Introduction by John Weaver the central section of the paper on “Approaches and Responses” is by Ian Arbon. This section is very comprehensive, and includes material on: Defining Sustainability; Development of the Concept of Sustainability; PESTE analysis (PESTE= political, economic; societal, technological and environmental); Technology; Politics; the Relationship between Sustainability and Ethics; Environmental Ethics; Business Ethics; and Sustainability and Ethics in Practice (from the field of “energy”). John Weaver then concludes the paper with a Theological Reflection. Here he has sections on: Seeking a way forward; Ethical perspectives; a Theological perspective; and Action for Christian disciples.

If you would like a copy of this paper please send a cheque made out to the John Ray Initiative for £3.50 (£2.50 plus £1.00 post and package) to JRI, Wotton House, Horton Road, Gloucester, GL1 3PT. For quotes on multiple copies or overseas orders please email admin@jri.org.uk

Conference on Sustainable Communities

2014FULLThe annual Redcliffe College / JRI Environment conference is on Saturday 1st March 2014. The conference theme is “Sustainable communities: what has the church got to offer?” The conference is now FULL. Please do not turn up on the day hoping to get in as we are now at the safety limit and can take no more!

Further details and links to brochure and booking form at Redcliffe College website. Continue reading Conference on Sustainable Communities

Climate Change Debate at General Synod

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe John Ray Initiative has joined together with A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, Christian Concern for One World, Christian Ecology Link, Climate Stewards, CTBI Environmental Issues Network, Operation Noah, Progressio, the Speak Network and Tearfund to welcome the debate on climate change and the environment taking place at the General Synod of the Church of England on February 12th 2014. You can see the motion that is being proposed by Southwark Diocese and a JOINT STATEMENT HERE.

If you are a member of the Church of England do get in touch with your Synod representative to tell them about the statement and ask them to support the motion. The list of members (Bishops, clergy and laity) can be found HERE

If you are on Twitter please use the hashtag #GSClimate to access news on the debate and to show your support for the motion.