Environmental Studies in a Catholic Framework

Elaine C. Grose

in Teaching the Tradition

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795307
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932894 | DOI:
Environmental Studies in a Catholic Framework

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Preserving biodiversity is a task for humans endorsed by the second biblical account of creation, which highlights four points: the infinite God and finite humans can understand one another, humans exercise dominion over all creation, both God and human beings like beautiful things, Adam and Eve can eat the fruit of all trees in the garden except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God loves and trusts Adam and Eve to make good use of the world. The “dominion” that man and woman exercise should preserve the goods of creation for future generations. According to the Bible, humans should not despoil the land by robbing it of its ability to support life. By seeking wisdom, humans can understand how the world works, how it reveals God, and how it should be preserved. Environmental studies tells us four important things: ecosystems are interactive, humans can have bad effects on ecosystems, life is competitive, and human ingenuity often discovers new energy sources. Three Catholic approaches to the environment are solidarity with creation, deference to most life forms, and common ownership of the environment over all generations. Common to the approaches are God as the source and the beauty of creation.

Keywords: environmental studies; Bible; dominion; biodiversity; beauty; St. Francis of Assisi; ecosystems; Teilhard de Chardin; Duns Scotus

Chapter.  9242 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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