We're really excited about Sacred Commerce, our most recent publication here at Holy Cross Orthodox Press. Sacred Commerce features essays on faith and the environment from a number of eminent scholars and theologians, including conservationist Jane Goodall. At the beginning of her essay, "Biodiversity and Conservation: A Conversation with the World of the Spirit," Jane expresses her interest in connecting with the Ecumenical Patriarch:
"I must profess from the outset that the reason I insisted on making the time to attend this conference was in order to have the opportunity to meet and talk with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. And the voice that I would like to contribute to this gathering concerns the work that I am currently doing. As you know, a lot of my life was initially devoted to learning about our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Now my job is to give animals a voice in gatherings such as this around the world so that they may be better understood..."
Goodall goes on to emphasize that, far from being disparate disciplines, the worlds of nature and spirit are integrally connected.
"My message is that the conservation can never work in the vacuum. It's no good to go out there and say we are going to build a fence around a piece of wilderness and that will do the trick. It won't. We have got to address the human problems and show how all of these things are interconnected and how contact between the natural world and that of the spirit -- of morality and ethics --is ever so precious and all too important."
You can read the rest of Jane's essay and more in Sacred Commerce: A Conversation on Environment, Ethics, and Innovation, edited by John Chryssavgis and Michele L. Goldsmith.