Anglican Head Presents 'Christian Response' to Climate Crisis

The crises of today, including the Climate Change crisis, takes root from a shared cultural and spiritual crisis, proposed the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

And the nature of that crisis could be described as a "loss of sense of what life is," Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told the 1,000 gathered Tuesday at the Southwark Cathedral in London.

In a lecture titled "The Climate Crisis: A Christian Response," Williams described the "sense of life" as a "web of interactions, mutual givings and receivings" that make up the world that mankind inhabits.

"We are disconnected and we need to be reintroduced to life," the Anglican leader asserted.

To explain further, Williams drew from the story of Noah in the Bible, which he said presented the world with a humanity "that can never be itself without taking on the care and protection of the life of which it's a part."

One of the most notable things Noah had done was gather all the animals.

"Noah is made responsible for the continuation of what we would call an ecosystem," Williams stated.

"God is committed to life, to the continuance of life on earth, and whatever happens he will not let life disappear," he added.

Today, however, mankind displays "ecocidal" patterns of consumption that are both addictive and self-destructive, Williams noted, citing from a book written by Scottish activist Alastair McIntosh.

"Our response to the crisis needs to be, in the most basic sense, a reality check, a re-acquaintance with the facts of our interdependence within the material world and a rediscovery of our responsibility for it," he exhorted.

In closing, Williams encouraged the crowd to get reconnected with the life around them, whether through tending to a garden, watching the changing seasons, or going out in the rain from time to time.

"This may seem trivial compared with the high drama of 'saving the world'; but if this analysis is correct, our underlying problem is being 'dissociated', and we ought to be asking constantly how we restore a sense of association with the material place and time and climate we inhabit and are part of," he explained.

The lecture Wednesday was sponsored by the Christian environmental group Operation Noah, founded in 2001 by Christian Ecology Link (CEL) and later organized as a joint project of CEL and the Environmental Issues Network of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

The London-based group claims to be the first Christian campaign to focus exclusively on the issue of Climate Change.