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Presented at the 33rd Annual Conference "Environments," Washington, DC, August 13-16 2009.

Mirrored with permission from

Author affiliation: professor in the School of Environment, McGill University

Right Relationship:
Building a Whole Earth Economy

by Peter Brown

About this paper: On Friday, August 14 2009, from 9:30am-noon, the ABS conference hosted a panel titled "Collective Consciousness, Human Maturity, and the Challenge of Sustainability." The format consisted of two papers — Peter Adriance's "The Essential Role of Religion in Fostering a Sustainable World" and Brown's "Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy" — followed by a "Dialogue and Response" by Arthur Lyon Dahl, moderated by Tahirih Naylor. This document is Browne's paper and the following question-and-answer session with responses from all three speakers. [-J.W.]

Abstract: The book Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy, co‐authored by Peter Brown in 2009, begins with the idea that human well‐being is entirely dependent on the well‐being of the whole commonwealth of life. “Right relationship,” “commonwealth of life,” and “whole earth economy” are defined. Answers to five key questions further illuminate these concepts: What is the economy for? How does it work? How big should it be? What is a fair distribution of its benefits and burdens? How should it be governed? The answers offered provide a fresh perspective and hopeful guide that resonates well with diverse faith traditions. [Abstract taken from conference program.]

1. Brown's paper: download MP3 file [84 MB, 1:07 hours]
2. Question-and-answer session: download MP3 file [39 MB, 31 min.]

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