Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chapter 6: Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis

This chapter begins with a brief look at the view of a Professor Lynn White's opinion as to how man brought about all the issues we have in nature today. He argued the Christianity as an institution in the Western world an its interpretation of the dominance over nature God granted to man has lead to environmental degradation. He states that we have interpreted it to mean nature has no meaning except to serve man. Critics have sited the passages as meaning man should have stewardship over nature and not just exploit it as we wish. The chapter goes on to discuss how this Western thinking and ideals - Medieval times being a major starting point - have lead to our modern thinking that we are above nature and its master. The example of the first knife-shaped plow that revolutionized agriculture and its rapid wide spread use to create larger and larger fields and that farming shifted from supporting the needs of a single family to how much could be plowed and how fast.

The chapter continues on with what I view as bashing of Christianity. As a Christian I am more than willing to admit that scripts and texts have been interpreted for man's "benefit" and that the Bible has been a means to an end for many unsavory deeds. The author does not seem to realise that not only is the Bible obscure, but it can be used for good and "Evil". Just because High ranking churchmen have rammed the interpretation of man's dominion meaning to exploit, does not mean that Christianity is at the core of modern environmental miss doing. The views of those in positions of power are to blame ultimately in the end. Science has been used for very bad thing but has produced wonders such as medicine.

I just wish the author had spent some time to reflect on the points I've mentioned rather then plowing away with the negatives. I will give him credit for the half section devoted to Saint Francis and his belief that man as a whole, not just individuals, could use humility and how he tried to set up a democracy for all of God's creatures.

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