ESCInitiative.org

Home » Articles » Creation Care: Uniting Science with Moral Imperatives

Creation Care: Uniting Science with Moral Imperatives

Pope Francis I recently made a strong statement in support of creation care, or the uniting of religious, theological beliefs with a concern for environmental protection. Though care for the environment has often been a part of Eastern religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity has been slow to come to the defense of Mother Nature. Many consider the launching of the Evangelical Climate Initiative in 2006 to be a watershed moment in bringing Judeo-Christianity and its works on the environment into mainstream media.

Creation care arguments often focus on values of charity, protecting the poor, and providing a healthy world for future generations. Francis has repeatedly spoken out about the values of charity, has decried the poverty specifically relative to the wealth of some priests. It may come as no surprise, then, that Francis links these values to caring for the environment “because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us.” The full remarks can be heard here, which outline Francis’s emphasis on balance between humans, humans and the environment, and humans and their spirituality.

St. Francis of Assisi, retrieved from this site

Referencing his namesake (St. Francis of Assisi), Francis encouraged his followers, and indeed all of humanity, to be “custodians of creation.” This phrase is interchangeable with the “stewardship” of creation that reflects Genesis 2:15 which calls for humans to “work and take care of” the Garden of Eden (New International Version). The story of Genesis is often considered to be in contradiction with itself, as it contains phrases that seem to laud the role of humanity as having dominion over the world and also phrases that support taking care of cultivating the earth. This reflects a difference in interpretation, which Francis is trying to push towards the latter view where Creation is a gift rather than property to be exploited.

The recent, more prominent exposure of the creation care movement is promising. Religious leaders have the unique ability to communicate to those might normally be unreachable by scientific arguments. Although there are groups that use religious language and mandates to advocate against creation care (such as the Cornwall Alliance), and some scholars are skeptical of their ultimate reach and efficacy, creation care and its movement are still a potential avenue for encouraging citizen participation.  The concern raised by science can be given a moral imperative and a theodical urgency to act.

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. […] the challenge of convincing people that sacrifice is honorable. Perhaps another tactic would be creation care, or the uniting of environmental protection with moral imperatives. This, however, may not be as […]

  2. […] ones apart from ourselves and loved ones) is a difficult rhetorical task that groups such as creation care advocates and non-profits are trying to harness. People may be drawn to the bystander effect, where […]

  3. […] on a basic level of caring for fellow humanity, but it is perhaps overly optimistic to think that creation care arguments might ever have the persuasive power of dollar […]

  4. earthquakes says:

    I was more than happy to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for your
    time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of
    it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new things on your website.

  5. […] blog has previously addressed “creation care,” a primarily Christian (and evangelical) movement to incorporate religious responsibility […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow ESCInitiative

%d bloggers like this: