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Insecto-Theology: A Wake for Our Planetary Commons

JACOB J. ERICKSON: ‘My attention turns these days more to those cases of insects… When you consider how little and mystified our knowledge of the insect world actually is, we don’t even know fully what’s been lost… The news talks a lot of those honey bees these days — “colony collapse disorder” — and radically disturbing declines in bee population. The implications for pollination of plant species is astounding.

But a very recent study from Germany signals a more terrifying reality: three quarters of insect life has disappeared in the last twenty five years. Because insects serve as indicators of healthy ecologies and biospheres, they’re using terms like “ecological catastrophe,” “environmental apocalypse,” and “Armageddon”… Creatures buzz and flit around us daily, but do we take notice? Do we respond, personally or politically? Insects populate religious and spiritual imaginations, too, whether we realize that or not…

Forms of ahimsa in Jainism and forms of Buddhism avoid violence against the insect world. Locusts serve to remind of the divine judgment in the Hebrew Bible. Leviticus spends some time asking which insects might count as food. In the book of Judges, a bee colony sets up in the carcass of a dead lion. Butterflies often serve as symbols of resurrection. Jesus asks hearers what is valuable, since moths destroy the perishable. The Qur’an celebrates the dedication of and handiwork of bees and other insects. And the list multiplies’. SOURCE…

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