Fr. Michael Butler: Orthodoxy and Environmentalism [AUDIO]

As a companion to the text of His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah’s address (“Ascestism and the Consumer Society“) at Acton University published here, we’re posting the audio from a lecture by the Very Rev. Michael Butler on Orthodoxy and Environmentalism. We’re grateful to the Acton Institute for making this lecture available to AOI. To purchase a copy of Fr. Butler’s lecture, or other talks from AU 2011, please visit the organization’s Digital Downloads store (files are $2.99 each).

Fr. Butler, pastor of St. Innocent the Apostle to America Church in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, is also working on an Acton scholarly monograph on Orthodoxy and Environmentalism with Professor Andrew Morriss of the University of Alabama. Prof. Morriss is the D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene Angelich Jones Chairholder of Law.

Fr. Butler’s course description:

Orthodoxy and Environmentalism

Apart from statements by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (the “Green Patriarch”), the Orthodox Church has not been widely known for its teaching on environmental issues. This course will present some themes from Orthodox theology, e.g., creation through the Logos, creation as an Icon of God, and the role of mankind in perfecting the world, as an offering to the wider discussion of environmentalism in Christian circles.

Listen here:


  1. Why is this man not teaching in our seminaries?!!

    Great stuff from a great mind. I hope he will continue writing on such themes.

  2. cynthia curran :

    Well, I can’t comment on the Orthodox View on this. But from a legal view, Orthodox countries are influence by the Justinian Code or Leo’s Eclologa which means there is no property rights in water, air or the shoreline. Actually, Leo allowed for more property rights near the shoreline than the older Justinian Code. The Romans, Justinian or Leo thought that water and air are hard to have property in these and water and air are vital to live. This doens’t mean that these can’t be modify.


  1. […] For more on Orthodoxy and Environmentalism, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Butler taught a session at this year’s Acton University, which can be accessed here. […]

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