Thursday, 12 July 2012

Theologcal discussion: Climate Change

10th May 2012 

The Social Justice Action Group All saints Kings Heath held a theological discussion about Climate Change based on the preface of the book ‘God Species’ by Mark Lynas and a Christian Aid report ‘All Creation Groaning’. We first of all looked at some ideas from the Old Testament. The overall picture is one of a hierarchy of God, Man, and Earth. Mans relation to nature is twofold, firstly he has dominion (Gen 1: 25-29) and secondly stewardship (Leviticus 25: God lays down rules for looking after the land he is going to give to Israel). The problem with this model is that man assumes presumptuous Godlike power, see the story of the fall, when exercising his dominion over the earth. The idea prevails that the earth is there simply for man’s use. The notion of stewardship does not overcome this prevailing idea, but merely becomes subservient to it in the context of the identified hierarchy of God, Man, and Earth. This latter statement can be deduced from the exploitative way man, that is Christian societies, have acted in their engagement with the world.

We went on to look at the New Testament, specifically Luke 10:27- He answered, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” The argument was developed under the idea of climate justice. It was proposed that now we have the knowledge that enables us to see how our individual and collective (as a society) actions affect others through climate change unsustainable exploitation of the earth’s resources is sinful; in our present society love for our neighbour and the quest for justice that follows from this of necessity encompasses care for the world.

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