Modern-day evangelical Christians have largely abdicated the issue of
environmental responsibility to those representing radically different
positions on the nature of humans as we related to the natural world and
our responsibilities regarding our environment. On the other hand, much of
liberal Christianity reflects the philosophies of deep ecology,
ecocentric environmentalism, ecofeminism, etc. Thus, New
Age-oriented adherents to environmentalism and some who claim to be
Christians themselves have misrepresented the biblical mandate to take
dominion over and serve as the steward of Creation. Yet again, other
Christians--mainly evangelicals--are guilty of ignoring proper care for the
Creation, seeing it as a "liberal's issue." Both extremes invite criticism.
As with any other subject, when exploring environmental ethics, one
needs to discern the underlying worldview in order to understand and
critique it. What is the philosophy's view of humankind in relation to
nature? Is human progress seen as bad, good, or even the central issue? Is
there a true balance between the biblical elevation of man as
steward/co-creator/image-bearer and the avoidance of that role's abuse?
Backing up a step, is the assumption of man as superior to the rest of
nature mere arrogance? What are the foundational presuppositions of the
various branches of today's environmental movement and where do they lead?
Our Special Focus examines these questions.
The Virgin and the Dynamo:
The Use and Abuse of Religion in Environmental Debates
Review by Thomas Sieger Derr
Derr reviews Royal's book and its new approach to the relation between
religion and ecological concerns.
Thomas Sieger Derr
Derr opines on the Earth Charter, a document drafted by environmental
organizations intended for ratification by the United Nations.
Three Biblical Principles For Environmental Stewardship
Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt
Brief statement on a Christian view of the believer's mandate from
Scripture regarding the Creation from University of Wisconsin-Madison
professor DeWitt. Includes Earthkeeping, Sabbath and Fruitfulness
Dr. Ray Bohlin
Fossil fuel emissions are unfairly being blamed for global warming. The
Kyoto Protocol is based on questionable science, and will cause unnecessary
The Second Time as Farce: Galileo Redux
Carson critiques the current trend--especially by Vice President
Al Gore and certain environmentalists--toward blaming the weather on
manmade, not divine, intervention.
Christ and Creation's Longing
Richard John Neuhaus
Fr. Neuhaus wrote a book about the ecology movement that was published in
the early 1970's. At the time, critics of the book said that he simply made
too much of a harmless movement that was rooted in common sense. What
reflections does the author have about this issue more than a quarter of a
The Great Fear
Kenneth R. Weinstein
Book review of The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism,
by Charles T. Rubin.
A Federalist's Approach to Protecting the Environment
A governor reflects on the stewardship understanding of environmental
protection that is, he says, most consistent with limited and
Animal Rights, Human Rights
Thomas Sieger Derr
Derr discusses in depth the various arguments used by the animal
rights lobby, which has recently gained quite a bit of attention while the
debate takes on new rigor (and sometimes heat). One example, as Derr
interprets it: "Humanity is finally a dispensable species: ultimate value
is assigned to the whole process of nature rather than any special part of
it. We have been, it is said, wrongly anthropocentric."
The Exclusion Zone
Cham Dallas, Ph.D.
Dr. Dallas led a research team into the Exclusion Zone, containing the
highest radioactive contamination following the world's worst nuclear
disaster at Chernobyl. The physical destruction that would have lasting
consequences pointed to deeper, spiritual needs worsened by a worldview of
exploitation and statism.
AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies provides courses for college
students, environmental education for school children and adults, retreats
and conferences, and educational outreach services for churches and the
wider world community. We do so from campuses in the Great Lakes Forest of
northern Michigan, Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, Tangier Island in
the Chesapeake Bay, East Africa, and South India.
Links to More Environmental Resources
The page's introductory text reads, "We hope that the following links will
help you to explore some of the possibilities available to you in the
community of people that care about God's creation and are working to
fulfill a commitment to caring."
Trumpeter 1990 (Athabasca University, Canada)
Environmental Ethics - Ethical Ecosphere
J. Stan Rowe
Rowe is an Albertan by birth, and spent nineteen years in federal forestry
research, until he went to the University of Saskatchewan in 1967. He is
now an emeritus professor. His areas of study are ecology, land use,
environmental ethics, and other related subjects. He has a new book due
called Home Place , which consists of 28 essays on human ecology from an
ecocentric point of view (editor's emphasis).
Syllabus of environmental studies course
Dr. Geoffrey Frasz
Fairly extensive bibliography organized by several environmentalist
Go here to see our past Special Focus features.