Chapter 13: Eco-Justice: A Key Religious Environmental Focus
Eco-Justice has long been a central concern of faith-based environmental thinking and action. The prefix “eco” signals that ecological and economic dimensions of environmental issues are inseparable. The justice dimensions of environmental concern — primarily that the impacts of environmental degradation disproportionately impinge on the well-being of the poor and vulnerable (who have historically had little voice in the environmental movement) — were a critical entry point for faith communities to begin focusing on environmental matters in the 1960s and 1970s. Particularly in the areas of climate and food, justice issues remain at the forefront of eco-theological thinking and action. Few issues more clearly demonstrate the complex relations of factors that characterize our local and global sustainability challenges than eco-justice, which highlights the intersectionality of environmental, economic, racial and other factors that require an integral approach to achieving sustainable and thriving communities.