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How much do we really know about Jewish burials? What effect are they having on the environment? Is this an important conversation for us to have? A few things really struck me from Richard Conniff’s recent opinion piece in The New York Times, titled “This Is How I Want to Be Dead.” The author writes […] Read More

Applying the imperative, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is central in Christian ethics. It draws directly on Jesus’ teachings (see, for example, Matthew 22:36-40), which draw directly on the Hebrew Scriptures (see, for example, Leviticus 19:18). One of the most well-known texts addressing this calling is the “Parable of the Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37), where […] Read More

A wire sculpture sits above the harbor at Portsoy in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The graceful lines of a dolphin leaping toward the sea is a powerful and poignant symbol of life that is wild, untamed, beautiful and utterly natural. There are many perspectives on the relationship between humans and the biosphere we call earth. My own […] Read More

Christians often don’t talk much about climate change and global warming, but when they do, there are some pretty divergent views. There are those who staunchly argue that the hype around climate change is just fear-mongering based on economic or political agendas or both. There are those who believe that climate change is real and […] Read More

The basic premise of ecology is that everything is connected. The very definition of ecology embodies this truth: the word ecology comes from two parts – “eco” from the Greek “oikos” for “household,” and “logia” for “the study of.” Anyone who has grown up in a household understands that it is a complicated web of […] Read More

How do environmental ethics work out in practice in Christian contexts? We can often see tension between caring for the environment and focusing on human concerns. In the past, environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) would not focus on human problems, while world development NGOs would show little apparent concern for the environment. Now it is recognized […] Read More

In 1967, Lynn White proposed that the roots of our contemporary ecological crisis lay with the concept of dominion found in Genesis, and that Western technological development and approach to nature has been based on a concept that humans are separate from nature, with absolute autonomy over it. He proposed an alternative Christian approach, based […] Read More

Environmental ethics is often thought to have originated in the 1970s, influenced by Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and the rise of environmentalism. In 1971, J. Baird Callicott taught the first environmental ethics course in the world. Much thinking concerning the ethics of the environment predated the 1970s. Here we will look at key thinkers and […] Read More

What is nature worth? How do we balance the needs of the natural world with those of human concern? This article aims to explain some of the basic terms in environmental ethics to provide a starting point for the subject. How do we value the natural world? A simple example helps us understand value. We […] Read More

Happy Earth Day 2017! “But wait,” you might say, “should Christians celebrate ‘Earth Day?’ How does our faith help us think about what the Bible calls ‘Creation’?” Here are three important biblical themes for Christians to reflect upon for Earth Day: 1. “The whole earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). God […] Read More