Solar Ethics

Don Cupitt, SCM, 1995, 71pp. (approx. $28)

Reviewed by Lloyd Geering, SOF NZ Newsletter #15, March 1996

This is Don Cupitt's latest book. The title and theme are explained by the fact that the sun is used as metaphor for the understanding of human existence. Just as the sun has no inner life of its own but exists simply as an outpouring of itself, so we human beings have no being apart from our life. By giving up all notions of a life after death and also of a death after life, we must learn to fuse life and death into one, just as the sun does. Solar ethics is said to free us from the illusory dualities of the past, where our inner subjective world was contrasted with the outer physical world, and enables us to live in the one and only real world pursuing a way of life which may be called religious eco-humanism. This book, though quite short, is not as lucid as some of Cupitt's earlier books. It does not make for easy reading but does repay the effort to ponder it.