Nature, or Religion?

When reading these 22 theses on nature, I can’t help but think of Martin Luther’s 95 theses on religion, both because of the name, and loosely because of content. The way the author of these 22 theses describes nature is spiritual. Saying nature is “all encompassing,” “simply given,” and “radically open,” is not usually a way in which we think about nature. The first thesis implores the importance of considering humans to be a part of nature, and nature as being a part of humans, especially in our anthropocentric age of climate change and general destruction of the planet. Perhaps if more people thought about nature with the same reverence and respect people grant their religions, we would be more prone to take care of our planet.

The sections on perception are particularly resonant with the idea of nature as a spiritual entity. All things surrounding us change us, at least in small ways. The same feelings of awe and connection many people feel while out in natural spaces could be described similarly to religious connections people experience. The author of these theses, however, in a way argues that those feelings of connection need to be felt even in areas that humans have heavily impacted. We are part of nature, and cannot be without it, so by extension our communities and human inventions should be revered as natural. It is because of this we must change the ways the human parts of nature effect all other parts. There should be no separation, and the way we currently live our lives brings about that separation.

This article brings up an interesting point about nature: we are just a small part of it. Nature is “all encompassing,” as the theses describe, so it will go on once we are gone. Any harm to nature will eventually be repaired, but it is not likely that humans will be there to see it. Nature will go on without us. It is much more resilient and flexible than humans are.

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