Thursday, February 09, 2006

Christian Ecology

A recent email conversation with my good friend Lee prompted me to start this thread to explore concepts of "Christian ecology." A way to do this would be to look at Biblical scripture and theological writings that stress ecocentric philosohpies within Christian doctrine and teaching, for example, the concept of stewardship of creation.

Lee is a worship leader at New Spring Community Church in South Carolina. Historically, he and I have diverged markedly in our approach to Christian faith and philosophy. But a recent New York Times article discussed an initiative by leaders of evangelical Christian churches to recognize global warming as a problem and engage with strategies to understand and mitigate human-induced climate change. I thought this might provide some common ground for Lee and I to reinvigorate our dialog on Christian faith and works in the world.

So to begin, I think this blog thread is a good place for a running repository for discussions, articles, websites, ideas, etc. on the nexus of ecocentric philosophy and Christian faith. I'll start off with some materials off the top of my head and from some very cursory web research:

TREES (Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality) is a student group at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

Christian Ecology Link,"a multi denominational UK Christian organisation
for people concerned about the Environment."

ARC (Alliance of Religions and Conservation) page on Christianity and ecology.

And a classic paper from Science magazine in 1967 by historian Lynn White: The historical roots of our ecological crisis (Science 155(3767):1203, 1967).

A grassroots initiative: Jesus People Against Pollution. Watch a movie about their work here.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.

An online book by process theologian John Cobb, Jr.: Sustainability: Economics, Ecology and Justice

What Would Jesus Drive? Because: "
Our transportation choices are moral choices that for Christians fall under the Lordship of Christ."

From their site:
For ourselves, as we renew our confession of Christ as Lord of every corner of our lives we pledge:
  • to walk, bike, car pool, and use public transportation more;
  • to purchase the most fuel efficient and least polluting vehicle available that truly fits our needs;
  • to educate others about the moral concerns and solutions associated with transportation;
  • to encourage automobile manufacturers to produce the most fuel efficient and least polluting vehicles possible that fit the needs of the American people; and,
  • to urge government leaders to support public transportation, a significant increase in fuel economy standards, and research and development for promising new transportation technologies that reduce pollution and increase fuel efficiency
Reader contributions:

Thanks to Beth for mentioning the Jubilee movement!

1 comment:

beth said...

you should add the jubilee network ( on this list. they are a faith-based organization working on cancelation of IMF/World Bank debt based on the biblical concept of jubilee. [jubilee was a commandment written in the old testement about how after 25 years all debts should be released, slaves freed, lands should lie follow, and lands returned to original and rightful owners.]

apart from the extreme poverty and injustice the debt is causing, it is also causing many environmental hazards such as destroying local supply of water and food, forcing importation of food supplies, supporting enviornmentally unfriendly corporations, etc. of course, debt issues extend past enviornmental concerns, but that is the focus of this list, so that i am not going to talk about other issues. ask bono if you have any questions.

there are many opportunities for churches and organizations to be involved with jubilee. check out their website. thanks!