Unholy Alliances: Religion, Science, and Environment

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Abstract:

Christianity's relationship with the environment is considered. From the seventeenth century, Christianity contributed to the legitimization of scientific developments that had injurious consequences for the environment. These developments were secularizing; hence the ecological crisis participates in the broader problems of secularization. Under secular hegemony, the normative model of the person as atomistic individual is integral to the problem itself as well as bereft of the spiritual resources to challenge abusive attitudes that profane God's creation. This paper proposes that responses to the ecological situation should be sought in a richer understanding of the human being: an anthropology that is not only part of the Christian legacy but also offered by contemporary sociobiology.

Keywords: CharlesDarwin; Enlightenment; Francis Bacon; Immanuel Kant; René Descartes; environment; human being; religion-science relation; scientific revolution

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0591-2385.00365

Affiliations: Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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