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God, the Bible and the Environment. An Historical Excursus on the Relationship between Christian Religion and Ecology

Marco Damonte

Abstract


The aim of this paper is double. On the one hand, it focuses on the relationship between Christian religion and ecology in order to inquire into the most common charges that environmentalist movements address to Christians and to evaluate them showing their historical roots. On the other, this study will show how some recent suggestions taken from Catholic authors – who, at the same time, are the traditional ones – and from the teachings of the Church, could be useful to encourage and to promote ecological ethics founded on human responsibility. In order to do so, an historical method will be used. In the first part, some authors from the Patristic-Scholastic age will be take into consideration, with particular care to Augustine. In the second part an article by Lynn White will be presented as an emblematic turning point in the relationship between Christian religion and ecologists, paying attention first, to the Puritan context of his writings, and, second, to the birth of contemporary environmentalist theories. In the last part Romano Guardini’s work and Francis’ Laudato sì will be considered. My attention will be focused on the interpretation of some relevant verses taken from the Bible book of Genesis.


Keywords


Ecology; Ethics of Environment; Patristic Age; Augustine; Romano Guardini; Bible; Christian Religion; Puritans; Lynn White; Power (in Modern Age)

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2017-001-damo






Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196


Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Vilma Baricalla - Luisella Battaglia - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Luigi Lombardi Vallauri - Christoph Lumer - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo