Not a new religion, but a new order

sacred earth bookORDER OF THE SACRED EARTH
Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Berit Listug (Monkfish Book Publishing Company 2018)

We live in a time of the greatest environmental devastation that our world has ever seen. Unprecedented wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and storms are occurring across the globe. Polar icecaps are melting. Sea levels are rising and temperatures are climbing. An increased number of species are facing extinction. Economies and governments are teetering. Many countries environmental protection system has been under assault by an administration whose mission is to roll back efforts to fight climate change and ensure the dismantling of existing environmental health policy.

This escalating daily siege on the environment is so overwhelming it leaves many people feeling helpless, wondering, “How can I possibly make a difference?”

Matthew Fox, a 76-year-old elder, activist and spiritual theologian, along with Skylar Wilson, a 33-year-old wilderness guide, leader of inter-cultural ceremonies, and an event producer, and Jennifer Berit Listug, a 28-year-old writer, spiritual leader, and publicist, are presenting a challenge and an opportunity in the vision launched in this modest book. That vision is about creating an Order of the Sacred Earth. 

Essay contributors to the book and its vision include Mirabai Starr, Brian Thomas Swimme, Adam Bucko, and David Korten. Citing how many religions, governments, and social theories have become more divisive than unifying, Order of the Sacred Earth proposes a return to the collective consciousness that we are of one human race and part of a magnificent world. Turning our backs on the earth and its natural cycles will only harm humanity, it says, and conservation should not just be regarded as a prudent ecological movement but as a holy privilege.

Fox writes that the world does not need another religion or even a reshuffling of our old religions. He says, “What it needs is a new Order.” He describes this Order as a community and movement of people [no matter what their background] to share a sacred vow to preserve Mother Earth and become the best lovers and defenders they can be on behalf of Mother Earth. A post-denominational Order and a post-religious Order – therefore a Spiritual order!


The Rev. Deacon Rob Roi is a parish deacon at St. James’ Dundas.