So for college I’ve been working on an EPQ project, which I chose to do on Ecotheology, one of my favourite subjects. I made a presentation showing off my findings, and that alone got me full marks (overall I got an A*).
Congrats, Reggie! Very interesting piece. Well-earned grade.
I’m wondering two things.
Most of the presentation is built around OT texts in Gen 1, yet White’s objection is taking what he says is the Christian view to task. Why does he consider this a Christian issue and not a Jewish one?
Had you considered Gen 2:15 to harmonize with the words from Genesis 1:28? There we read man was put in the garden to “cultivate and keep” where shamar “to keep” carries a fairly conservationist tone. Thoughts?
Wildfires, poaching and invasive species often increase following evictions of tribal communities. A study in Chitwan National Park in Nepal showed lower tiger density in the human-free “core zone” of the park, seemingly because the way communities were managing the outer areas of the park created better habitat for the tigers.
Though White does not say so, Judaism has always had laws against ecological destruction (Bal Tashhit) and cruelty to animals (Tsa’ar Ba’alei Chaim). Christianity is somewhat late to the party, with the exception of individuals such as Francis of Assisi.
I left that out because Peet van Dyk points out that the Garden of Eden represents human development through farming and agriculture:
Ah, I see. Wise move to sidestep the trap. Thanks for the link. I re-read your presentation after the Van Dyk piece and can see what you mean. Found his reasoning rather flawed but thought-provoking. I’m a bit new to the Ecotheology subject. Quite interesting. Thanks for introducing me to it!