ECOLOGICAL CRISES

Source:  ECOLOGICAL CRISES    Tag:  definition of radiation pollution
Relevance of the Teachings and Praxes of the Jesus Movement in the Indian context- perspective readings of relevant texts in relation to
ECOLOGICAL CRISES
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Introduction:
Ecological crises become one of the most important subjects today. It is studied from different circles and perspectives in hoping that the natural loses may be recreated. In India itself the problems in environmental changes touch even the sphere of theological study, where it is dealt from Kingdom perspective. Establishing ecological balances in the world, as created in the beginning by the Creator, is the final goal to this particular focus. Thus this paper attempts to bring ecological changes of Indian context to be reflected from the teaching and praxes of the Jesus movements.

1. Definition of Ecological Crises:
To define the Ecological Crises, we may need to understand first of what the term Ecology is. The term was first used by Reiter and was derived from two Greek words οίκος and λόγος which respectively means a house or a household and a word or a system or a study. [1] So the word ecology can be defined as the study of a household taking the whole world.

Petrides defines ecology as, “ the study of environmental interactions, the welfare of living things, regulating their distribution, abundance, production and evolution.” [2] So, ecology can be understood in a broader way as the study of the interaction of living things or living beings of the earth. It is a system of an interaction and interdependency of organisms in their respective forms and all their changing activities in their environmental system.

And thus Ecological Crises/Crisis may be define as the occurrence of problematically changes in physical, chemical, biological and environmental composition of an ecosystem of the Earth due to the natural and human made reasons. [3] By the development of human capacity the environment of the world keeps changing and the ecological equilibrium/balance loses its originality which leads to the damage of ecosystem at local level and global level; and which makes the so called ecological crises.

2. Forms of Ecological Crises in India:
There can be different forms of Ecological Crises, differ according to the situational differences. Some forms found in Indian situation are:

2.1. Pollution: pollution refers to any drastically changes in the natural qualities of ecosystem brought by chemical, physical and biological factors. There can be four types of pollution. Such as:

2.1.1. Water Pollution: water pollution is one of the urgent crisis being faced by both the developed and developing world together. Water of rivers, lakes, wells, streams and Oceans are polluted by natural and human waste of households, factories and industries, etc.

2.1.2. Air Pollution: The air can also be polluted and is being polluted by foreign elements or gases or other ingredients which are emitted from industries, motor vehicles and human made materials. [4] When air contains such unusual gases, the atmosphere becomes polluted and it damages biodiversity of the air or atmosphere.

2.1.3. Noise Pollution: Noise pollution is sounds without harmony and which does not have no meaning to the listeners. Those wrong or unwanted sounds are produced by human voices, musical instruments, motor vehicles, factories, etc.

2.1.4. Radiation Pollution (nuclear pollution): Radiation itself is not bad at all, but when the contents reach beyond the level, it becomes dangerous. Radiation pollution is the degradation of environment due to the release of radio-activities by the sun, nuclear powers and various electronics and scientific devices.

2.2. Ozone layer Depletion: Ozone layer is known as the umbrella of the Earth. It protects the Earth from direct ultra-violet radiation (UV rays) from the sun which could damage all living creatures on Earth. Ozone is present at all attitudes mainly in the stratosphere (12kms – 35kms). [5] And this became one of the subjects in ecological crises because of its depletion. Ozone layer of its molecules is depleted by chlorofluoro carbons (CFC) emitted from science and technological developments of the world. [6]

2.3. Climate Change (Warming): The rapid increasing of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere raises the temperature, which causes the changing of the climate into warming. This warming is called Global warming. India is becoming warmer and warmer in each particular region. But the issue here is what causes the increase of carbon-dioxide? The level of Carbon-dioxide (CO2) is increased mainly by human population explosion, deforestation, development in science and technology, industry, etc.

2.4. Soil Erosion: Soil erosion is a detachment and removal of fertile soil and top soil from their original places. [7] Soil erosion is mainly caused by many factors like natural process of erosion, shifting and jhuming cultivation, construction of roads and houses, deforestation and increasing population pressure. [8]

2.5. Species Extinction: Many species of India are already extinct and some are still in danger of extinction. Due to human lack of knowledge about creations, animals are hunted down. Other reasons for their extinction are population increasing, forests destruction, factories and industrials development, unconditionally fishing, oil and petro chemical waste flowing down in the sea, etc.



3. Causes of Ecological Crises:
The ecological Crises in India are mainly occurring due to the following reasons- Deforestation, development in Science and Technology, Agricultural and economic Development, Urbanization and natural calamities.

4. Perspective Readings of Relevant Texts (Mark 4:1-34 and Luke 12:22-31) in relation to Ecological Crises:

4.1. Mark 4: 1 – 34 (Parables of the Kingdom of God):
4.1.1. Background Study: The given passage consists of four parables. The first one (4:1-20) is about ‘the parable of the sower’ which is delivered by Jesus from the sea on boat to the crowd. In those times, cultivating land is one of their main occupations. A cultivator usually ploughs the land before sowing the seeds, and then sow the seed and it fells on different places of the field. He might know that some part of his land were better than others, but he was giving them equal seeds to them and only in harvesting the results would be known. [9] Jesus made use it for explaining the Kingdom of God; it explains that the difference in the results all depends on the nature of the human heart that receives the gospel. [10]

The second part (4:21-25) says about the Lamb under a bushel basket. Lamps are made from clay and it is burnt using the olive oil. [11] Lamps are meant to give fire, but not to cover; otherwise there will be no light. In the same way this parable purpose is to reveal truth, not conceal it. [12]

The third section (4:26-29) talks about ‘the growing seed’ which emphasizes the contrast between the smallness of the seed and the greatness of the final harvest. It compares with the eschatological Kingdom of God. [13]

The fourth division (4:30-34) is ‘the parable of the mustard seed’, which is compared with the kingdom of God in such a way that the smallest of all seed become the biggest of all. It illustrates the small beginnings of the kingdom and the great result of its arrival in fullness. [14]

4.1.2. In relation to Ecological Crises : By making use as a parable, Jesus teaches how plants are sowing and growing. Seeds are usually sowed by the farmer, and all the hands of taking cares follow. The small seeds become bigger plants, so that they produce fruits. All the creatures have respective purposes; if one hinders them, the fruits may not come out. If the lamp is covered by a bushel basket, no light was given. Likewise, if the ecological balances lose their originality, the outcome may not fruitful; rather it will create problems to the dependent creatures.



4.2. Luke 12: 22 – 31 (Material Possessions):
4.2.1. Background Study: In these verses, Jesus refocuses his attention to his disciples by teaching on the divine perspective toward material possessions. [15] Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about their lives, foods, and clothes, rather they should think for their life and body (12:23). He contrasts God’s care of the birds of the air and lilies of the field with his provision of the children. If the raven (which is recognized as unclean) is feed by God, even so how much more God would love for his children. [16] In any case worry cannot make any person live any longer. That is why Jesus instructed them to seek out God’s will and his salvation, and then they will find that their bodily needs are taken care of.

4.2.2. In relation to Ecological Crises: The gospel Luke presents that all the living creatures including unclean are cared by the Creator. He feeds them and provides for them every need. As the Creator concerns for His creatures, we the human beings are also given responsibility to look after and to take care of them. These are the other ministries where we are called; to bridge the gap of ecological problems, to build inclusive Kingdom, to concern for all other creatures, and to recreate the atmosphere to have a peaceful dwelling place.

Conclusion:
We have many verses or passages in our Bible which emphasizes on the concern for the creatures. Indeed all the surrounding environments of the Earth are created with being good looking from God’s side. The ecological balance is the original inhabitants of the Earth. But due to various reasons, it loses their balances which in turn give unhealthy environment for all the living creatures. That is the reason why we have to take up this Crisis, by any means, in order to bring back in to the original equilibrium.


Bibliography:

-----------------------                    Mizo Study Bible: Baibul leh a Chhuizauna. Bangalore: The Bible society of India, 2010.

Brown, Raymond.                  The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. New Delhi: Rekha Printers Private Limited, 1990.

Carson, DA.                             New Bible Commentary. Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994.

Hrahsel, lalfakzuala.                “Ecological Crises in Mizoram and Responces of Mizo Christians:
A Christian Ethical Perspective” B.D. Thesis, Union Biblical,
Pune, 2003.

Lalrinawma, John.                   “The World Council of Churches Involvement towards Ecological Crisis: A missiological Response” B.D. Thesis, Academy of Integrated Christian Studies, 2008.
                                                                                                                                               
Pate, C. Marvin.                      Moody Gospel: Luke Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1995.



[1] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises in Mizoram and Responces of Mizo Christians: A Christian Ethical Perspective” (B.D. Thesis, Union Biblical, Pune, 2003), 3.
[2] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises in Mizoram and Responces of Mizo Christians: A Christian Ethical Perspective” (B.D. Thesis, Union Biblical, Pune, 2003), 3.
[3] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises in Mizoram and Responces of Mizo Christians: A Christian Ethical Perspective” (B.D. Thesis, Union Biblical, Pune, 2003), 4.
[4] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises in Mizoram and Responces of Mizo Christians: A Christian Ethical Perspective” (B.D. Thesis, Union Biblical, Pune, 2003), 7.
[5] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises…, 4.
[6] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises….
[7] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises…, 9.
[8] Lalfakzuala Hrahsel, “Ecological Crises…, 10.
[9] D.A. Carson, New Bible Commentary (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994), 956.
[10] D.A. Carson, New Bible Commentary….
[11] ---------------- Mizo Study Bible: Baibul leh a Chhuizauna (Bangalore: The Bible society of
India, 2010), 1373.
[12] D.A. Carson, New Bible Commentary…, 957.
[13] Raymond Brown, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (New Delhi: Rekha Printers   Private
Limited, 1990), 606.
[14] Raymond Brown, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary….

[15] C. Marvin Pate, Moody Gospel: Luke Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 271.
[16] D.A. Carson, New Bible Commentary (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994), 1001.