Christian Environmental Ethics

Topics: Environmentalism, Catholic Church, Christianity Pages: 4 (1517 words) Published: October 10, 2010
Research Essay: 20876077
Through the study of scripture, Christian movements and the views of historical and contemporary figures, it can be said that Christian ethical teachings have a significant influence on the lives of its adherents. A prime example of the effects of these teachings is the nature and practice of Christian environmental ethics. The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy defines environmental ethics as the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its nonhuman contents. Although each denomination has its own unique manner of judging ethical understanding, the basic and fundamental structures of their environmental principles have a tendency to reflect Christian beliefs.

Any Christian ethic must begin with the Bible as it is the Word of God. The first chapter of the Old Testament, Genesis, details that God created humans in his image and likeness and separate from all that came before. The passage Gen 1:26 “Then God said, let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over…all the creatures that move on the earth” introduces the concept of stewardship. Christian stewardship begins with willing obedience to the His commandments and grows out of a love for God. The Steward has an initial love for the Creator and through this an intense love for Creation. This intrinsic connection between God, His people and the environment is demonstrated in the passage Psalm 104: 25-30 “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the earth”

The Protestant Church defines Christian Stewardship as “the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God's family, the church, in managing all of life and life's resources for God's purposes." This means that Stewardship is carried out as a community as well as individually, that creation is made a priority for the fulfilment of God’s will. The Protestant Church of USA...
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