We live in an age when the fate of the earth is being determined by the wisdom and conduct of one species–the human. Whether that fate will be for the good of the whole planet largely depends on whether that one species can grasp the meaning of its place within the earth system and assume its proper responsibilities toward the process that birthed it and sustains it. Such an achievement requires a deep transformation of our attitudes toward and relationship with the earth. The goal is an harmonious state called ecosophy.

Ecosophy has its roots in two Greek words, oikos (household), and sophia (wisdom). Ecosophy means both human wisdom regarding the earth household and the wisdom of the earth itself as a biospiritual organism.

We consider that the earth has intrinsic value apart from its instrumental value for humans. Human action should be guided by a respect for and recognition of these other values. We are part of a web of interrelated and interdependent beings. Hence, we cannot realize our own identity or fulfill our own destiny, even in the realm of religion and spirituality, apart from these other beings and the whole earth. Thus, to paraphrase Whitman, all human activities, including economics, politics and religion must be judged according to how they reflect and corroborate the wisdom and dynamics of the earth.

Our institute hopes to explore all areas of human life in order to enable humans to overcome their alienation from and frequent antagonism toward this holy planet, so that its wisdom and power might heal and soothe our often frantic, distempered hearts. To aid in this task, we have instituted Ecospirit, our quarterly newsletter.

Ecospirit is both a voice for the earth and of the earth. More particularly, it is a voice emanating from the ancient land of the Lenni Lenape, rooted in the fertile Lehigh and Lebanon Valleys, echoing off the Appalachian Mountains and wetted by the waters of Monocacy Creek between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. Appropriately, our first issue explores the themes of bioregionalism and the sense of place.

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