The Theocentric Worldview: Sustainability Education for Religion and Spiritual

  • Mohd Mokhtar Muhamad Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Sharifah Intan Sharina Syed Abdullah Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Nurazidawati Mohamad Arsad Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia


Several recent studies started to relate religious beliefs and sustainable behavior. For this reason, there is a high possibility that students’ religious beliefs can be a strong impetus for practicing sustainability knowledge. The education for sustainable development (ESD) in universities should not be separated from the meaningful religious belief of university students. Therefore, we proposed the theocentric worldview which centered on a religion-spiritual relationship with God to be included as a part of ESD. This worldview is important in making ESD content meaningful for religious university students. In this paper, we used a religion-spiritual concept from Islamic teachings as an example of how a religious belief can be embedded within ESD for university students.


Al-Attas, S. M. N. (1993). Islam and Secularism. Kuala Lumpur: Art Printing Works Sdn. Bhd.
Ali, K., & Leaman, O. (2007). Islam: The key concepts. New York, NY.
Ammar, N. H. (2001). Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground. In D. L. Barnhill & R. S. Gottlieb (Eds.), Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground (pp. 193–212). New York: State University of New York Press.
Christmann, P., & Taylor, G. (2001). Globalization and the environment: Determinants of firm self-regulation in China. Journal of International Business Studies, 32(3), 439–458.
Cotton, D. R. E., Warren, M. F., Maiboroda, O., & Bailey, I. (2007). Sustainable development, higher education, and pedagogy: a study of lecturers’ beliefs and attitudes. Environmental Education Research, 13(5), 579–597.
Devall, B., & Sessions, G. (1985). Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered. Salt Lake City, UT: GM Smith.
Drengson, A., Devall, B., & Schroll, M. (2010). The deep ecology movement: Origins, development, and future prospects (toward a transpersonal ecosophy). International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 30(1–2), 101–117.
Felgendreher, S., & Löfgren, Å. (2018). Higher education for sustainability: can education affect moral perceptions? Environmental Education Research, 24(4), 479–491.
Huckle, J. (2014). Education for sustainability: Assessing pathways to the future. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 30(1), 31–51.
Jacob, M. (1994). Sustainable development and deep ecology: an analysis of competing traditions. Environmental Management, 18(4), 477.
Khalid, F. (2010). Islam and the environment–ethics and practice an assessment. Religion Compass, 4(11), 707–716.
Kober, G. (2013). For they do not agree in nature: Spinoza and Deep Ecology. Ethics & the Environment, 18(1), 43–65.
Köylü, M. (2004). Peace education: an Islamic approach. Journal of Peace Education, 1(1), 59–76.
Kula, E. (2001). Islam and environmental conservation. Environmental Conservation, 28(1), 1–9.
Leal Filho, W., Raath, S., Lazzarini, B., Vargas, V. R., de Souza, L., Anholon, R., … Orlovic, V. L. (2018). The role of transformation in learning and education for sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 199, 286–295.
Leal Filho, Walter. (2000). Dealing with misconceptions on the concept of sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 1(1), 9–19.
Leal Filho, Walter, Dahms, L. M., & Consorte-McCrea, A. (2019). Sustainability and Religion: Past Trends and Future Perspectives. In Sustainability and the Humanities (pp. 611–619). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Mahmud, S. N. D., Mohd Nasri, N., & Syed-Abdullah, S. I. S. (2019). A Whole-of-University Approach towards Sustainability in a Research Institute: A Force-Field Analysis. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity, and Change, 7(11), 120–134. Retrieved from
Minteer, B. A., & Manning, R. E. (2005). An Appraisal of the Critique of Anthropocentrism and Three Lesser-Known Themes in Lynn White’s “The Historical Roots of our Ecologic Crisis.” Organization & Environment, 18(2), 163–176.
Muluk, S., & Habiburrahim, H. (2018). Higher Education Transformation: To what direction? (A Look at the transformation of Ar-Raniry State Islamic University). Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, 6(3), 447-458. doi:10.26811/peuradeun.v6i3.286
Muñoz-García, A., & Villena-Martínez, M. D. (2020). Sustainable Behavior among Spanish University Students in Terms of Dimensions of Religion and Spirituality. Sustainability, 12(2), 470.
Naess, A. (1973). The shallow and the deep, long-range ecology movement. A summary. Inquiry, 16(1–4), 95–100.
Naess, A. (1986). The deep ecological movement: Some philosophical aspects. Philosophical Inquiry, 8(1/2), 10–31.
Naess, A. (2015). Ecology: The shallow and the deep. Cahn, MA & O’Brien, R. Thinking About the Environment: Readings on Politics, Property and the Physical World.
Obasa, D., & Adebule, J. (2017). The Challenges of Higher Education in Growing Dialogue Culture and Understanding Cultural Pluralism. Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, 5(3), 401 - 414. doi:10.26811/peuradeun.v5i3.183
Penrice, J. (1873). A dictionary and glossary of the Kor-ân: with copious grammatical references and explanations of the text: Arabic-English. London.
Sauvé, L. (2005). Currents in Environmental Education: Mapping a complex and evolving pedagogical field. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE).
Setia, A. (2004). Taskhir, fine-tuning, intelligent design, and the scientific appreciation of nature. Islam & Science, 2(1), 7. Retrieved from
Setia, A. (2007). The Inner Dimension of Going Green: Articulating an Islamic Deep-Ecology. Islam & Science, 5(2), 117–150.
Sponsel, L. E. (2010). Religion and Environment: Exploring Spiritual Ecology. Religion and Society, 1(1).
Thomas, I. (2009). Critical Thinking, Transformative Learning, Sustainable Education, and Problem-Based Learning in Universities. Journal of Transformative Education, 7(3), 245–264.
Tucker, M. E., & Grim, J. A. (2001). Introduction: The Emerging Alliance of World Religions and Ecology. Daedalus, 130(4), 1–22. Retrieved from
Vatalis, K. I. (2017). Training sustainability through role-playing in higher education. Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 11(4), 361.
Warburton, K. (2003). Deep learning and education for sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 4(1), 44–56.
White, L. (1967). The historical roots of our ecologic crisis. Science, 155(3767), 1203–1207.
Whitney, E. (2015). Lynn White Jr.’s ‘The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis’ After 50 Years. History Compass, 13(8), 396–410.
How to Cite
MUHAMAD, Mohd Mokhtar; SYED ABDULLAH, Sharifah Intan Sharina; MOHAMAD ARSAD, Nurazidawati. The Theocentric Worldview: Sustainability Education for Religion and Spiritual. Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 2, p. 275-292, may 2021. ISSN 2443-2067. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 sep. 2022. doi: