Climate Change, Faith and Rural Communities
We are pleased to announce the publication of Climate Change, Faith and Rural Communities by Martin J. Hodson and Margot R. Hodson. This attractive 40 page booklet is a product of the Agriculture and Theology Project which was a joint project involving the John Ray Initiative (JRI), the Church Mission Society (CMS) and the Agricultural Christian Fellowship (ACF). The abstract is below. From February 2014 the booklet can be downloaded for FREE here. Print copies can be ordered from the John Ray Initiative office.
Climate change is a major issue for this century with significant impact on the future of the countryside. The first part of this paper considers the expected impacts of climate change on rural communities in the UK and the contribution that these communities make to climate change. Climate change is complex and interacts with many other factors. One aspect is exposed through a consideration of the impact of Peak Oil. Having presented the interaction between physical, biological and human issues, the paper has at its heart a reflection on the cosmic nature of Christ (Colossians 1.15-20). The theological reflection explores the themes of interconnectedness and eschatological hope. An ethical analysis builds on the theology to develop a Christocentric model for holistic mission. The authors propose their model as a faith-based framework for responding to climate change within a UK rural context. The final part of the paper shows how engaged faith can have a major role in helping rural communities both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Practical examples lead on to discussion of the value of a faith based approach. The authors conclude that faith in the countryside for this century needs to be sustainable in its praxis and holistic in its mission. They recommend relocalisation of rural communities and call for the church to support community regeneration.