God’s Creation and Sustainability in the Mediterranean

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st_paul.jpgOn the occasion of the Pauline Year, the Environment Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta, the Archbishop’s Seminary of the same Archdiocese and the Bishop’s Seminary of the Diocese of Gozo are organising an intensive educational experience and conference for regional seminaries on promoting environmental stewardship.

The course and conference will be focussing on “God’s Creation and Sustainability in the Mediterranean”, and will be held in Malta from 12 to17 July 2008.

The initiative is being organised in collaboration with APS Bank, the Centre for Environmental Education & Research, Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Theology – University of Malta.

The Past, Present and Future of the Mediterranean, and St Paul

Historically, the Mediterranean was both a route and a barrier, at times dividing the various cultures which sprung along its shores, and at others providing the means whereby they merged, influenced or conquered each other. This ‘melting pot’ of religious, political, economic, cultural and demographic pressures, with its natural and physical constraints, has led to an environmental landscape (and seascape) which presents urgent problems needing solutions as well as opportunities for a sustainable future that need to be realised.

Religion has always played a dominant role in the social and cultural developments throughout the Mediterranean. St Paul, or as he is known: the Apostle of Nations, played no small role in this. Through his pioneering voyages along the Mediterranean coastline as well as writings, he managed to inspire whole generations with the basic truth and legacy of a humanity redeemed by Christ. This same truth together with the values it incorporates, are highly relevant to the modern context of a sustainable future for this region.

In spite of the cultural and religious diversity that characterises this region, its hope for a sustainable future is dependent on the ability of its peoples to be guided by basic and moral values in their daily choices effecting their interaction with the environment. Furthermore, the main religions of the region foster and indeed uphold moral values that are conducive to sustainable lifestyles. This is why the various religions of the region should play a more evident and leading role in motivating their faithful to respect God’s creation and gift of life.

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