The World of Nature according to the Protestant Tradition

H. Paul Santmire and John B. Cobb

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195178722
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 The World of Nature according to the Protestant Tradition

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The sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation in Europe, sparked by Martin Luther and John Calvin, who are sometimes called “the Magisterial Reformers,” is of more than historical interest, since the trends of thought and social formation which it set in motion are still of wide-ranging consequence, particularly with regard to the theology of nature. A complete account of Reformation theology and piety would take into account the voices of what is often called “the left wing of the Reformation.” However, in general, the later attitudes of Protestants toward nature, including those of most Baptists, have not been greatly affected by the distinctive teachings of this group, whereas large numbers of Baptists and others who trace their heritage to these left-wing sources, as well as those who stand more directly in the traditions of Luther and Calvin, have been influenced in this regard by the legacy of the Magisterial Reformers. This article examines the teachings of Luther and Calvin concerning nature. It also discusses the Reformation tradition, the culture of modernity, and the ecological crisis.

Keywords: Reformation; Protestants; nature; Europe; Martin Luther; John Calvin; Magisterial Reformers; Reformation theology; ecological crisis; Baptists

Article.  15233 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity

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