The Bible and the Environment: Towards a Critical Ecological Biblical Theology

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-13
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Environmental issues have in recent years come to the centre stage of political and ethical debate. Moreover, there has long been the charge, classically formulated by Lynn White Jr, that the biblical and Christian tradition has legitimated and encouraged humanitys aggressive domination of nature to serve human interests. Biblical visions of the future, with destruction for the earth and rescue for the elect, might also seem to discourage any concern for the earths future or the welfare of future generations. In this volume, David Horrell sets out this context for discussion, and illustrates the diverse ways in which the Bible has been interpreted in relation to issues of ecology and the environment. A range of biblical texts are discussed, from Genesis to Revelation, and competing interpretations are contrasted and evaluated. Horrells analysis shows that the Bible provides a thoroughly ambivalent legacy. It cannot straightforwardly provide positive teaching on care for the environment, but nor can it simply be seen as an anti-ecological book. Horrell argues for the explicit development of an ecological hermeneutic. This involves constructing certain interpretative lenses that arise from the engagement between our contemporary context and the biblical text. These lenses help to generate a new reading of the biblical tradition appropriate to face the challenges of the ecological issues that face humanity at the beginning of the third millennium.

Author Biography

David G. Horrell is Professor of New Testament Studies and Director of the Centre for Biblical Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter, UK. He is the author and editor of many books and articles, including Social-Scientific Approaches to New Testament Interpretation (1999), Solidarity and Difference: A Contemporary Reading of Paul's Ethics (2005), An Introduction to the Study of Paul (2nd edn, 2006) and 1 Peter (2008).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationsp. x
Reading the Bible in Light of the Ecological Crisis: Approaches to Interpretation
The Ecological Crisis and the Challenge to the Christian Traditionp. 3
Approaches to Reading the Bible in Relation to Environmental Issuesp. 11
A Survey of Selected Biblical Texts and Their Varied Interpretation
Human Dominion Over Creation?p. 23
The ˘Fall÷ and the Flood: A Covenant with All the Earthp. 37
Creation's Praise and Humanity Decentredp. 49
Jesus and the Earth: The Gospels and Ecologyp. 62
Paul and the Redemption of the Cosmosp. 74
Future Visions of Creation at Peacep. 88
Apocalyptic Visions of Cosmic Catastrophep. 104
Dealing with an Ambivalent Legacy: Proposals for an Ecological Hermeneutic
Towards an Ecological Hermeneutic: Biblical Texts and Doctrinal Lensesp. 117
A Critical Ecological Biblical Theology and Ethicsp. 128
Bibliographyp. 145
Index of biblical textsp. 155
Index of subjects and authorsp. 158
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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