12 Pages

Introduction: Human Ecology: A Pedagogy of Hope?

ByLewis Williams, with Rose Roberts and Alastair McIntosh

The traditions of Orthodox Christianity have the potential to assist Western civilization complement its technological and scientific developments with the community development capacity necessary for the recovery of sustainable development. Orthodox Christian traditions, among other traditions, provide a source of critical perspectives on Western culture. The presumption of the superiority of Western culture is based on a linear view of development from traditional to modern, and is problematic. Orthodox Christianity therefore provides insight into the challenging and paradoxical reality that human beings are essentially the freedom of fully individuated persons in community. This chapter focuses on introducing the methodological framework of the Human Ecological research agenda. The analytical framework employed by the research agenda was originally developed to carry out interdisciplinary and intercultural research in Samoa on sustainable community development. The multicultural and non-ideological philosophical approach of Orthodox Christianity can potentially show a way for the development of inclusive yet local identities to guide authentic personal and community development.