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Sustainable living is central to the teachings of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, academics say – News

A panel discussion at the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi explores how religious teachings across faiths promote sustainable living practices

Panel discussion titled “Rethinking Sustainability and Peace through a Spiritual Lens,” at the Forum at the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi. —Wam

by WAM

Published: Monday, September 25, 2023, 5:56 p.m.

The principles of sustainable living and environmental stewardship have been central to the teachings of Islam, Christianity and Judaism for centuries, said Abdulla Al Shehhi, acting executive director of the Abrahamic Family House.

“Our faith communities have always had an influential role to play in shaping culture, embedding peaceful coexistence, and mobilizing for global challenges.”

Abdulla Al Shehhi delivered the keynote address at a panel discussion titled “Rethinking Sustainability and Peace through a Spiritual Lens,” held at the Forum at the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi.

Emphasis on sustainability

Three world-renowned scholars who participated in the panel explored how religious teachings across religions promote sustainable living practices and a sense of environmental stewardship.

Since its opening earlier this year, the Abrahamic Family House has already hosted more than 100 events across the three Houses of Worship, bringing communities together for dialogue, learning and celebration. The center continues its journey towards promoting mutual understanding and cooperation, focusing on crucial issues and global challenges that invite communities to learn and participate.

Faith and climate action

Rabbi David Rosen, special advisor for Interfaith and Jewish Affairs at the Abrahamic Family House, who moderated the panel discussion, began by laying out the scenario of how faith and the environment are interconnected.

During the debate held on the occasion of the International Day of Peace (September 21), Rabbi Rosen explained: “There is an inextricable link between sustainability and peace [relating] to all the health and well-being of the different components of society”.

The panel discussion also articulated Islam’s teachings on the diversity of cultures and the ability to establish a connection that impacts humanity and the environment as a whole. He highlighted the link between ethical practices and the importance of preserving resources for future generations.

Sustainable responsibility

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, explained how his institution prepares students to become future leaders who develop networks and friendships around the world today, helping to forge sustainable peace for the future.

“Sustainability is about caring for each other. The first principle of sustainability is thinking about others.”

He later explained how it is necessary to consider long-term sustainability. “The core of sustainability is instilling a sense of responsibility in generations yet unborn,” said Dr. Berman, who heads one of the world’s leading institutions of rabbinical and secular higher education.

Collaboration on social values

Dr. Monica Menéndez from New York University – Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) spoke about the importance of greater collaboration with others in advancing sustainability.

“We should not sacrifice social values ​​for efficiency. That is why it is important to work together with engineers, social scientists and professionals in the arts and humanities to understand these values ​​and incorporate them into these authorities,” he emphasized.

Dr. Menéndez, associate dean of Engineering for Graduate Affairs and professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at NYUAD, explained how decision-making must bring together all stakeholders to understand the connections of these decisions and include social values. . Dr. Menéndez also directs NYUAD’s Interacting Urban Networks Research Center.

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