Guardian readers respond to our editorial on the decline of organised mainstream Christianity
Your editorial (If organised mainstream Christianity is on the way out, what will replace it?, 16 July) poses a question of profound importance concerning the kind of society and culture we hope our grandchildren’s children will live in. Perhaps a hint of the direction of travel is to be found on the letters page (13 July), where the Director of Cafod (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) describes recent practical action and political campaigning by thousands of members of faith communities who, in face of the climate emergency and the threat of ecological collapse, “hear the cry of the earth, and of the poor who experience the injustice of climate change”. She cites the spiritual leader of the largest Christian community, Pope Francis, who in Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, his 2015 message to the peoples of the world made clear that the mission of the church now includes an urgent priority to support efforts to prevent further environmental deterioration and to achieve a sustainable lifestyle.
Developments in the academic fields of ecology and religion and “spiritual environmentalism”, especially in North America, give an advance glimpse of a future in which humankind rediscovers our capacity to wonder at the “sacred” mystery of the emergence and evolution of life in the universe, and reinstates our neglected relationship with the natural world on which our survival as a species ultimately depends. Perhaps an “eco-theology” is the future to which the last 2,000 years of history have been pointing?