The concept of a divine mandate for human stewardship is at the heart of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. As God created the world, he gave humankind the mandate to rule over the earth as just managers, stewards or trustees, with direct accountability to him for the way they choose to carry out this task. Human trusteeship of creation connects to the Declaration of the Parliament of the World's Religions, as it affirms the non-negotiable dignity of the human person. It also reflects the values behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the various documents it has generated over time, which have now become the foundation of international law.
Humantrustees.org also leverages the power of Jesus' Good News to bring peace and reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, as well as between people of faith and those of no faith. Jesus, the Second Adam, came to restore God's good creation, making it truly possible for all human beings to live out their calling as "trustees of the earth." This qur'anic expression (e.g., Q. 2:30; 6:165) is parallel to Genesis 1, where Adam and Eve are created in God's image and told to rule over all the creatures of the earth (see Earth, Empire and Sacred Text). Far from "exploiting" the earth for selfish ends – as we have certainly done in the modern period, as God's trustees we are called to bring healing and wholeness to the earth, peace and prosperity to all, humankind and "otherkind."
This initiative by David L. Johnston also starts with the assumption that Jesus is not just for Christians. True, people of other faiths don't see him as God in human form come to redeem humanity from their sins. But Muslims do see him as a great prophet whose teaching is worthy of emulation, and pioneers of nonviolence such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., found great inspiration in his words and deeds. As Christians join people of other faiths to bring blessing to the earth, they showcase the virtues of God's kingdom rule, which Jesus came to preach in the footsteps of the Hebrew prophets before him. And, what is more, all of God's trustees on earth come under the blessing of these words of Jesus: "God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth . . . God blesses those who work for peace, for they be called children of God" (Matthew 5:5, 9).
Still, God's trustees don't simply work for peace and justice. Jesus reminded his listeners that the Law revealed to Moses could be summarized in two commands: love of God and love of neighbor. In fact, he called his disciples to even love their enemies. The Apostle Paul ended his ode to love (I Corinthians 13) by saying that in the end, only three virtues remained: faith, hope and love. Then he added, "but the greatest of these is love." For many Muslim mystics across the ages (the Sufis), Muhammad was the Seal of the Prophets and Jesus was the seal of the Saints. Experiencing God's love was their main concern. This was also the foundation of the Muslim initiative of 2007, "The Common Word" letter sent by 138 Muslim leaders and scholars representing all factions to the Pope and all Christian leaders. What we have in common as Christians and Muslims, it declared, is at the core of our respective faiths: love of God and love of neighbor.
The ethical values enshrined in international law (human rights, in particular) can be mined from all religious traditions. They inspire and sustain the work of countless humanitarian NGOs and the tireless effort of civil society on a global scale. This site is only one humble contribution to this wider reconciliation and peacebuilding effort by offering two ingredients to the mix: good scholarship on issues related to contemporary Islam and religion in general, and specific Christian and Muslim spiritual resources.