by E. Calvin Beisner
Dr. Peter Jones explained in the first of his two lectures for
the role of leading representatives of New Age and revived Gnostic and pagan movements in shaping the environmental understanding promoted by the United Nations and many of the world’s governments.
Eco-spirituality leaders like Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and Stephen C. Rockefeller all were instrumental in framing, in cooperation with Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, the “
Berry, as Jones points out in his latest book, One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference
, is a disciple of the late heterodox Roman Catholic theologian Teilhard de Chardin
, a pantheist and process theologian who believed all reality is evolving toward an “Omega Point.” Berry, Jones reports, has “called for a new pattern of human presence on the planet, what he called ‘our great work.’ This work is to ‘rediscover the spirituality of the ancient peoples’.” Says Berry, “We need to move from a spirituality of the divine as revealed in verbal revelation to a spirituality of the divine as revealed in the visible world around us. … Genesis has nothing significant to communicate.”
Tucker, a student of Berry, leading figure in international ideological paganism, and Senior Lecturer and Senior Scholar at Yale University in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and Department of Religious Studies, is co-founder and co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Tucker boasts that eco-spiritualists like herself are “infiltrating constantly” U.N. departments that deal with the environment. She says Berry’s understanding is enshrined in the Earth Charter.
Rockefeller (of the wealthy American family), wrote John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism
(1991), co-edited The Christ and the Bodhisattva
(1987), and hosted a symposium, “Spirit and Nature: Religion, Ethics, and Environmental Crisis” while Professor of Religion at Middlebury College, the papers from which were published as Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment Is a Religious Issue
(1992). That volume begins with an epigram from Seng-t’san
: “One thing is all, / All things are one— / Know this and / All’s whole and complete”—a concise statement of the monist worldview at the heart of pagan environmentalism.
In one of his papers, Rockefeller asserts that the “myth of the Fall describes the emergence of self-consciousness and the ego …. The growth of the ego,” he continues—in keeping with the monistic worldview— “makes possible the separation of subject and object …. It also involves the disruption of an original harmony of the self with nature, other persons, God, and itself” (pp. 153–4). Later he adds, “A holistic and relational view of the human self suggests that in a real sense the whole earth is a person’s extended body and the consciousness of the individual is a focal point of the earth’s emerging self-consciousness” (p. 165).
Animistic peoples were thrilled with the Earth Charter, whose supporters want it to become a de facto
precedent-setting source of global law, says Jones.
“The Earth Charter is not a manifesto written by secular humanist atheists, nor even by neutral policy wonks, to please everybody,” says Jones. “It is a religious statement of cosmolatry, the worship, the false, idolatrous worship of the Earth.”
Resisting the Green Dragon
exposes the pagan roots of much modern environmentalism while explaining proper, Biblical Earth stewardship.