This article is well worth reading. It’s some notes from a talk given by Dmitri Orlov at a recent conference (The Age of Limits) in the USA. Orlov is a prominent Peak Oil blogger, not religious as far as I’m aware, so it’s a pleasant surprise to have him give a clear case for the role of religions both in promoting sustainability and forming a core of society through difficult times or collapse. He notes that for them to survive at all they need to transcend the society they were formed in, but that they also have a natural place in serving people in difficult times, and in standing apart from governments when they need to.
These are his concluding thoughts:
My point is that we have religious institutions, or traditions, that are able to survive just about anything. We also have a society that is disintegrating, a corrupt political system that will ruin many lies, and an economy that is failing to provide the necessities for more and more people. Why should we fight battles that have already been won? Religious institutions have already succeeded in fighting political institutions down to a reasonable truce, which the politicians are rightly terrified to break. Let us not start from scratch; let us work with what we already have.