Culture & religion for a sustainable future
Culture shapes the way we see the world. It therefore has the capacity to bring about the change of attitudes needed to ensure peace and sustainable development which, we know, form the only possible way forward for life on planet Earth. Today, that goal is still a long way off. A global crisis faces humanity at the dawn of the 21st century, marked by increasing poverty in our asymmetrical world, environmental degradation and short-sightedness in policy-making. Culture is a crucial key to solving this crisis.
Source: Preface, World Culture Report, UNESCO Publishing, Paris, 1999.
Our cultural values, which often include ...view middle of the document...
1. Defining religion and culture
2. Values and principles
3. A case study: Annapurna, Nepal
4. Culture and development
Bassett, L. (ed) (2000) Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action, UNEP.
Gardner, G. (2002) Invoking the Spirit: Religion and Spirituality in the Quest for a Sustainable World, Worldwatch Paper No.164, Worldwatch Institute.
Robinson, M. and Picard, D. (2006) Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue, UNESCO.
Schech, S. and Haggis, J. (2000) Culture and development: a critical introduction, Wiley-Blackwell.
Throsby, D. (2008) Culture in Sustainable Development: Insights for the future implementation of Article 13 (Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diveristy of Cultural Expressions), UNESCO.
UNESCO (2000) World Culture Report, UNESCO Publishing, Paris.
UNESCO (2009) UNESCO World Report 2: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue, UNESCO Publishing.
World Commission on Culture and Development (1995) Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO Publishing, Paris.
World Religions and Ecology Series by Harvard University Press. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, series editors.
* Buddhism – Tucker, M.E. and Williams, D.R. (eds) (1997)
* Christianity – Hessel, D. and Ruether, R.R. (eds) (2000)
* Confucianism – Tucker, M.E. and Berthrong, J. (eds) (1998)
* Daoism – Girardot, N.J., Xiaogan, L. and Miller, J. (eds) (2001)
* Hinduism – Chapple, C.K. and Tucker, M.E. (eds) (2000)
* Indigenous Traditions – Grim, J. (ed) (2001)
* Islam – Foltz, R., Denny, F. and Baharuddin, A. (eds) (2003)
* Jainism – Chapple, C.K. (ed) (2002)
* Judaism – Tirosh-Samuelson, H. (ed) (2002)
* Shinto – Bernard, R. (ed) (2004)
This module was written for UNESCO by John Fien using materials and activities developed by Hilary Macleod and Hum Gurung in Teaching for a Sustainable World (UNESCO – UNEP International Environmental Education Programme).
Defining religion and culture
Religion, Values, Culture and Sustainable Development
The World Commission on Culture and Development defined culture as ‘ways of living together’ and argued that this made culture a core element of sustainable development.
Almost all of the grave threats confronting human and planetary survival originate in human actions. However, much narrow thinking on sustainable development has focused almost exclusively on the relationships of people to the natural environment – without considering the people-to-people relationships that lie at the core of a sustainable society.
Fulfilling today’s human needs while preserving and protecting the natural environment for future generations requires equitable and harmonious interactions between individuals and communities.
Developing cultural values that support these people-to-people and people-to-nature values has traditionally been the role of...