One cannot suppose that eco-sophia, as a true wisdom, can develop historically in a vacuum among an elite group of gnostics. Ecosophy is as much a hope as a reality; as much a project as a platform; as much a way of life as a set of ideas. The wisdom of dwelling in the land and living harmoniously with the Earth must be concretely realized in each bioregion with its peculiar cultural and religious traditions–most of great antiguity. An effort to establish an ecosophical way of life for communities as well as individuals can scarcely do without the moral and spiritual resources present within these traditions.

Perhaps in the enthusiasm to establish a "new" biocentric vision some individuals prematurely dismissed the western religious traditions as hopelessly anthropocentric. A closer investigation, however, has shown that the situation is not that simple. While these traditions may have been used to justify an exploitive attitude toward the Earth, they, nevertheless, contain doctrines, insights, values and symbols that can serve a more ecologically-sound perspective.

Concern for the Earth dictates that we use a more Buddhist-like practice of "skillful-means" (upaya) in presenting an ecosophical orientation. Such a skill requires both an empathetic understanding of another’s worldview and the ability to shape one’s own presentation in such a way as to gently guide them in the direction of new insights.

Christian scholars and theologians are the ones best suited to understand their tradition from within, to draw upon and develop its more creation-centered potentials and so to enable Christians to adopt a more ecocentric view. In this issue we feature articles on Christian Theology and Ecology by two founding members of the Institute, Bill Falla and Roger Timm. Both individuals are theologians and ordained ministers actively engaged in leading their communities toward a more creation-centered Christianity.

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