Caring for Creation: An Ecumenical Approach to the Environmental Crisis

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Yale University Press, 1996 - Religion - 285 pages
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Many environmentalists believe that religion has been a major contributor to our ecological crisis, for Judeo-Christians have been taught that they have dominion over the earth and so do not consider themselves part of a biotic community. In this book a philosopher of environmental ethics acknowledges that religion may contribute to environmental problems but argues that religion can also play an important role in solving these problems - that religion can provide an ethical context that will help people to become sensitive to the environment and to elect leaders who are genuinely responsive to the ecological crisis. Examining a broad range of Western religious traditions - from conservative Christianity and orthodox Judaism to Goddess feminism and nature religion - Max Oelschlager provides a sociolinguistic analysis of their creation stories and finds environmentally positive aspects in each of them. He asserts that religious discourse in the public arena can offer a way for such environmental issues as biodiversity, pollution, and population to be addressed outside the realm of special-interest politics. And he urges local churches to make "caring for creation" a theme for worship in their services; the majority of Americans, says Oelschlager, will discover an environmental ethic only through their religious faith.
  

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Even before Georgia Interfaith Power & Light or other similar organizations were formed, this book helped me understand the solution to the global environmental crisis would not happen unless the faith-based community was actively involved. Pollution and environmental destruction are moral issues and cannot be solve by government mandates or profit motivated companies. Only the faith-based community had the moral obligation to protect creation and to influence those that wished to do otherwise. A great book to understand the moral underpinnings of creation care.
Bob Donaghue
 

Contents

Ecocrisis
19
Religion and the Politics
52
Religion
84
The Spectrum
118
The Role of the Church
184
Notes
239
References
255
Index
274
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