20th October 2012
Sharing Eden at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival
The smallest book to be featured in this year’s prestigious Times Cheltenham Literature Festival could have the biggest impact, bringing together as it does the three Abrahamic faiths which between them involve 54% of the world’s population - some 3.8 billion people.
The book, Sharing Eden, has been compiled by a Christian, Muslim and Jews and shows how respect for the environment is at the heart of the three Abrahamic traditions and encourages them to see how this concern is fundamental to their faiths.
The three authors, David Shreeve, Rabbi Natan Levy and Harfiyah Haleem, were interviewed in the Garden Theatre by Owen Gower, Director of the Cumberland Lodge Programme. Dr Gower urged the audience to all buy a copy saying, “So much doom and gloom about the environment comes across my desk each day that when this book arrived it was a sheer delight to read it. It is such a beautiful, inspiring little book.”
Watch the YouTube video here.
The authors described Sharing Eden during the event, which was supported by the Coexist Foundation, as ‘a beginning’ - intended as a starter for members of their three faiths, other faiths or none. It shows how over the centuries Jewish, Islamic and Christian teachings have covered environmental issues which are as relevant now as when they were written.
The illustrated book looks at today’s main environmental issues: sustainability and waste, water, energy and natural resources, climate change, food, biodiversity and regeneration and includes some of the most beautiful and enlightening texts from Abrahamic scriptures along with a glossary and useful contacts.
Since it was published in June Sharing Eden has attracted interest from faith communities around the world and will be published in the United States next March.
It will be the basis of study sessions being held this autumn and winter by Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group.
As Jonathon Porritt, the leading UK environmentalist says, “Finding common ground between Christianity, Islam and Judaism is a critical priority for the whole world – and nowhere is that common ground more evident or inspiring than on environmental issues.”