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Ecology/Environment

  1. A Challenge to the Eco-Doomsters by Walter W. Benjamin

    Garrett Hardin and the "lifeboat moralists" fail to see the connection between affluence in the U.S. and starvation in Third World countries. Hardin incorrectly holds Third World nations themselves largely responsible for their desperate plight.

  2. A Sacramental Approach to Environmental Issues by John Habgood

    A sacramental approach to material reality, such as found in the sacraments, can give us a deep respect for the environment and its fulfillment of the divine purpose.

  3. A Way in the Wilderness: Men and the Environment by David Douglas

    The author shows the intimate relationship between wilderness and spirituality.

  4. An Ethic of Eating and Drinking by Stephen C. Rose

    It seems doubtful that faith mandates a system of life that appears to require inhumane slaughter of creatures, uneconomical and exploitative uses of land, disregard of personal health, and ignorance of the probability that the key to world peace lies in the conscious cultivation of a practical philosophy of reverence for all that lives.

  5. Animals and the Love of God by William Greenway

    In Genesis 1:1-2:4, God first creates the heavens and the earth, then the plants, fishes, birds and all the other animals. To repress our sympathy for animals leads to an all the more destructive disrespect for them and for all of creation.

  6. Biblical Views of Nature by James Austin Baker

    This is primarily a religio-historical essay, not "biblical theology." Both the New Testament and the Old speak the same message, that the whole created order is Godís work and thus is good. Godís care extends to the most insignificant of animals, and to all living things.

  7. Can Corporations Assume Responsibility for the Environment? by John B. Cobb, Jr.

    Nations have surrendered much of their power to transnational corporations. These TNCs have opposed the growth of the developing nations in favor of growth of a world-wide market. . They are constituted for the purpose of making a profit for their stockholders. Leaving the consequences for the environment entirely in their hands appears dangerous, and thus far the effects have in fact been very bad . The author believes that power instead should be in the hands of those who have othergoals than economic gain in view as part of their primary job description. Governments, including both legislators and administrators, are supposed to aim at the common good. Cobb advocates a massive effort to return power to the people and their elected representatives.

  8. Caring and Working: An Agrarian Perspective by Norman Wirzba

    The author argues for what he calls "the agrarian point of view" as regards the creation: It means taking seriously the Biblical mandate to care for the creation.

  9. Christian Obligation for the Liberation of Nature by L. Charles Birch

    Christians must offer practical, workable guidelines for the value of some lives over others. The interests of different organisms are often in conflict.

  10. Christianity and Animal Rights: The Challenge and Promise by Tom Regan

    The author takes an absolute stand on the unethical treatment of non-human animals. For him it is categorically wrong to use animals in such areas as science, sport, recreational hunting, trapping and certain uses in agriculture.

  11. Climate Change and the Unraveling of Creation by Bill McKibben

    The author makes the argument that in the struggle to save and preserve the environment, the church's leadership is absolutely mandatory.

  12. Community of Life: Ecological Theology in African Perspective by Harvey Sindima

    The mechanistic world view, imported to Africa, has been largely responsible for many eco-crises faced by Africa and has led us to the global crises we face today. Community must be based in a consciousness that all creatures are part of all others, that humans share a common destiny with nature.

  13. Covenant and Creation by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

    Godís covenant as depicted in the Bible consists of promises not only to humans but to all of creation. By showing the relevance of the concept of covenant to the crises now faced by life on earth, Granberg-Michaelson calls for preserving the integrity of creation.

  14. Cynics, Martyrs and the Importance of Energy Conservation by Peter Penner

    Our inability to conserve energy is likely to destroy the earthís ecosystem. As the future of food, energy supplies, capital goods and mineral ores grow increasingly scarce, the idea of taking resources by military force will be on the minds of many nations. What kind of world do we want to leave to our childrenís children?

  15. Driving Global Warming by Bill McKibben

    If you drive an SUV for one year, itís equivalent to leaving the door to the frige open for six years, or you bathroom light on for three decades. Thereís no symbol much clearer in our time than SUVs. Stop driving global warming. If we canít do even that, weíre unlikely ever to do much.

  16. Eco-minded: Faith and Action by Charles Pinches

    Pinches reviews a book by Larry Rasmussen in which Rasmussen proposes "sustainability" as the correct goal for human interaction with the earth. But he also notes that this description is prone to abuse, for it has been too easily twined with expansionism.

  17. Ecological Degradation As The Judgment of God by William F. French

    French approaches the ecological issues facing the world from the theological position that the ecological destruction occurring is evidence of God's judgment on our misuse of creation. Citing books by Al Gore and Bill McKibben to support his critique of our consumer-oriented culture, French emphasizes the crucial role churches can and should play in sensitizing us to the need for sacrifice if we are to reverse the destruction.

  18. Ecology and Economy by John B. Cobb, Jr.

    The economists believe a prosperous future awaits all our descendants, if only we will be patient and stay the course. The ecologists believe that continuing on our present course is a sure recipe for disaster. Perhaps China can help us find a way through this dilemma.

  19. Ecology and the Fall by Donald Heinz

    The religious impulse of the ecological movement explains both its popularity -- it satisfies a basic human need -- and the uncertainty of its future. Since we canít even guarantee that enlightened egotism will save the world from a nuclear doomsday, what will prevent the earth from turning into a gigantic feedlot for 40 or more billion people?

  20. Ecology, Justice and Theology: Beyond the Preliminary Skirmishes by H. Paul Santmire

    Ecological theologians have, as a rule, taken seriously the predictions of crisis advanced by responsible scientists. Political theologians, on the other hand, have tended either to ignore ecological problems altogether or to regard them as expressions of unresolved political or economic problems.

  21. Energy Ethics Reaches the Churchís Agenda by Bruce C. Birch

    Seldom are the complexities of energy issues seen in moral terms, and seldom does energy appear high on the churchís ethical agenda, especially within the local congregation. The Energy Study Process of the National Council of Churches has been a fortunate exception to this lack of attention.

  22. Facing up to Global Warming by Bill McKibben

    The massive problem of global warming will be helped only by massive action. We need to make it clear that any politician whose plan doesnít call for cutting carbon by halfí or more simply hasnít understood the situation -- or has understood it and sold out.

  23. Farm Factories by Bernard E. Rollin

    Human dominion over the natural world must not be taken as an unqualified license to kill or inflict suffering on animals.

  24. Farming for God by H. Paul Santmire

    The struggle for an ecological theology that is both biblical and fully in keeping with our cultural and ecological crisis is outlined by the author and the books reviewed.

  25. Field of Corporate Dreams: Farming Without the Farmer by Debra Bendis

    The rise of corporate farming and the disappearance of the family farm are destroying local communities and economies. These developments also cause soil erosion, and reduce the quality of the food we eat.

  26. Imaging a Theology of Nature: The World as Godís Body by Sallie McFague

    McFague identifies four images that ecologically attuned Christians might find helpful: God as mother, as lover, as friend, and finally, God as embodied by the universe itself.

  27. In Godís Ecology by H. Paul Santmire

    What is needed in theological reflection about environmental issues is neither reconstructionist nor apologist, but rather is a "revisionist" approach in the tradition of orthodox theology.

  28. Land and People: The Eco-Justice Connection by Joseph C. Hough

    The greatest strain on the environment and, hence, one of the major factors in the growth of world poverty, is the still-increasing rate of consumption and environmental degradation taking place in the rich countries of the north.

  29. New Testament Foundations for Understanding the Creation by Paulos Mar Gregorios

    The value of non-Christian perspectives of the created order of nature. An Indian Orthodox point of view.

  30. Rearranging Mountains in Appalachia by Scott Williams

    Dr. Williams writes about the violence accompanying the production of electricity -- past and present -- and insists that ways apart from that violence must be found.

  31. Religious and Cosmic Homelessness: Some Environmental Implications by John F. Haught

    Much theology rejects the earth as our hospitable habitat, our home, but the environmental needs of our times require us to accept this very earth and universe as hospitable habitats and our home.

  32. Revisioning God and the Self: Lessons from Buddhism by Glen McDonald

    The relevance of a dialogue with other religions -- in this instance a dialogue with Zen Buddhism -- to a deepening of Christian ecological consciousness. Buddhism can stimulate us to imagine that the world is our body and that, even more directly, it is Godís.

  33. Saving the Earth by John B. Cobb, Jr.

    Dr. Cobb reviews a book about global warming: Christians are called to worship God, not wealth. Surely we should put the long-term wellbeing of the earth and all its inhabitants above the enrichment of the rich.

  34. Stewards of the Earth’s Resources: A Christian Response to Ecology by J. Patrick Dobel

    Any ecological ethic which takes into account both God and humanity must begin with the rejection of unbridled human sovereignty over the earth. Here are a few ethical considerations: the obligation not to exhaust nonrenewable resources, the imperative to provide accessible replacements, the necessity to improve our heritage modestly and carefully, the greater responsibility of the advantaged to improve that which exists and to share, and the obligation to refrain from excessive consumption and waste.

  35. The Biblical Vision of the Ecological Crisis by Rosemary Ruether

    The biblical understanding of nature inheres in a human ethical vision, a vision of ecojustice, in which the enmity or harmony of nature with humanity is part of the human historical drama of good and evil.

  36. The Christian, the Future, and Paolo Soleri by John B. Cobb, Jr.

    No mere dreamer, Soleri has planned -- and has begun to build -- cities that do not sacrifice our relation to nature for the sake of urban values. He calls his elements of architecture and ecology Arcology.

  37. The Ethics of Radwaste Disposal by Ted Peters

    Where will nuclear waste go? It will have to be buried in somebody’s backyard.The bigger question is whether we should allow contemporary affluence to become dependent on fission power. If we fail to come up with a satisfactory disposal program, the answer has to be no.

  38. The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity by Walter Brueggemann

    It is the author's thesis that God created a world of great abundance. If we share, there is enough for all.

  39. The Spirituality of the Earth by Thomas Berry

    The earth, in a very real sense, is our mother. We are born from this mother, from Gaia; we are extensions of the earth and the cosmos of which it is a part. This means that our conceptualizing and our spirituality also extend from the spiritual dimension of the cosmos and the earth.

  40. The Splendor of Creation, a Biblical Ecology (excerpts) by Ellen Bernstein

    (BOOK EXCERPTS) The introduction and three excerpts from The Splendor of Creation, A Biblical Ecology by Ellen Bernstein. The book is comprised of 31 ecologically oriented essays inspired by the 31 verses of Genesis 1:1- Genesis 2:3, the first Creation story. The excerpts are on the Mystery of Creation, The Gift of Time, and Genesis 1:28: Dominion.

  41. The World as God's Body by Sallie McFague

    In perverse imitations of God the creator of life, we have become potential uncreators. We have the knowledge and the power to destroy ourselves and much of the rest of life.

  42. Theology and Ecology by John B. Cobb, Jr.

    The seriousness of the ecological crisis creates major new theological challenges. Dr. Cobb summarizes the features of the inherited theology that block attention to what is going on in the natural environment, then suggests how these obstacles can be removed.Finally he inquires into whether Christianity not only can cease to be an obstacle to the needed response but also can become a positive contributor.

  43. Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Sensible Land Ethic by Julia Ahlers

    The vision of lions lying down with lambs represents a gross misunderstanding of harmony in nature. Nature provides self-limiting factors which we must take into account.

  44. Thomas Berry and a New Creation Story by Majorie Hope and James Young

    Is the human species viable, or are we careening toward self-destruction, carrying with us our fellow earthlings? Can we move from an anthropocentric to a biocentric vision? How can we help activate the intercommunion of all living and nonliving members of the earth community in the emerging ecological period?

  45. Three Axioms for Land Use by Richard Cartwright Austin

    Redeeming the land and redeeming humanity are not separate tasks; they are interdependent. When people are brought back together with the land, there is a possibility of a careful, loving, productive and saving relationship between them. So long as the land is held by corporations and machines, this possibility does not exist.

  46. Toward an Earth Charter by Larry Rassmussen

    Several theological models in response to the ecocrisis are worthy of our attention. This article was written in anticipation of an "Earth Summit" that took place in June of 1992.

  47. Wild Country and Wildlife by David Douglas

    The church has often seen nature as a window to God. But with few exceptions it has been tamed nature -- the pastoral and bucolic that humans have fenced and framed. The wilder corners of creation, bearing no imprint of humankind, have been allowed to slip into disrepair.