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Keywords:

  • asceticism;
  • death and renewal;
  • global economy;
  • industrialism;
  • mysticism;
  • population;
  • prophetic and liberative practices;
  • sacramentalism;
  • transitions;
  • wisdom traditions

Abstract Exiting the fossil-fuel interlude of human history means a long, hard transition, not only for energy sources, uses, and policies, but for religious values as well. How do religious values account with integrity for the primal elements upon which all life depends and by which all energy is conveyed—earth, air, fire, water, light? What challenges do energy policies pose to religious values so that the latter might be judged to be truly Earth-oriented and Earth-honoring? Reciprocally, how do shared cross-cultural, interfaith religious values challenge present and prospective energy policies? How might value orientations, such as asceticism, sacramentalism, mysticism, prophetic and liberative practices, together with wisdom traditions, influence energy practices and policies? The intention of this essay is to surface these two-way challenges in present debates on energy.