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Toward an Ecology of TransfigurationOrthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation$
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John Chryssavgis and Bruce V. Foltz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251445

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251445.001.0001

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Ecology, Morality, and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century: The Earth in the Hands of the Sons of Noah

Ecology, Morality, and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century: The Earth in the Hands of the Sons of Noah

Chapter:
(p.276) Ecology, Morality, and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century: The Earth in the Hands of the Sons of Noah
Source:
Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration
Author(s):

H. Tristram Engelhardt

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823251445.003.0024

With regard to the environment, and more generally with respect to developing environmental policy, there is uncertainty about all the empirical data that can be invoked to change and frame policy. Against this background of controversy and contention, this chapter focuses primarily on what Orthodox Christianity can bring to the articulation of an environmental ethic. To do this, a general theological background is presented, then some salient empirical and moral ambiguities are highlighted, and then finally some general theological constraints and norms bearing on environmental ethics are elaborated. Throughout, the emphasis is on recalling the prime focus of Orthodox theology, which falls on rightly loving, worshipping, and believing in God and, in the light of that rightly ordered love of God, loving one's neighbor. Within these constraints, Orthodox Christianity leaves a considerable space within which one is left to determine prudent choices. The chapter concludes with the recognition that we must first pursue the kingdom of heaven, not the realization of the environmentalist kingdom.

Keywords:   environment, empirical data, Orthodox Christianity, moral ambiguities, heaven, environmentalist kingdom

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