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A Covenant Model of Global Ethics

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There is increasing conviction that to enjoy and promote the mutual fl ourishing of human life in mutual relationship to the fl ourishing of all life on Earth is the ultimate meaning of human history. Yet the contemporary human condition is one of profound alienation from that meaning. The metaphor and model of a new global covenant, a new covenant with Earth, provides the most constructive and practical way individuals and communities can respond to this spiritual situation, and inspires e ff orts such as the Earth Charter, and draft International Covenant on Environment and Development, to articulate a new global ethic. The new model of Earth covenant has emerged over a long course of history from interactions between Earth-affirming religious sensibilities, evolutionary/ecological understandings, and democratic ideals. Although it is still very much in the making, and requires much wider global dialogue, we can extrapolate ten major normative themes central to the new covenantal vision.

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