The environment is definitely one of the most discussed issues in society as of now. Due partly to the globalization of society and partly because of science’s better understanding of nature and the earth, people no longer have the idea of the earth being limitless in its resources; the toll of man’s effect on nature can be plainly seen in a now industrialized society. Humanity’s relationship with nature has become rather depersonalized, and this ‘distanced’ relationship due to industrialized society can be seen taking its toll in the effects brought on by the rapidly growing population of the world’s inhabitants, depletion of vital natural resources, and the pollution of the natural environment. Heightened concern over the treatment of the environment can be seen worldwide; however, the theological aspect of humanity’s relationship to nature is interesting because it varies so greatly in Christianity. For example, you have some denominations such as the Episcopal Church, which emphasizes the Christian’s duty to the environment, as it was assigned to Adam; God’s creation is was viewed as ‘good’ and perfect in beginning, but just as man became corrupted by sin, so did the environment become susceptible to death. Therefore, it is the Christian’s duty to take care of the earth. And since nature is important to God, it should also be important to the Christian. However, there are those who interpret God making us ‘stewards of the earth’ as being metaphorical and not necessarily literal. These people may or may not be concerned with the environment, but they will claim that when God asked us to become stewards, it was meant to be a spiritual stewardship, not necessarily an environmental one. Another interesting thing about the relationship between the Bible and nature is that some people do interpret there to be a duality between humanity and earth, just as there is a duality between man and woman. Which makes the metaphor of nature being a ‘mother’ in popular culture all the more interesting; is there a tie between dominion and fertility? The fact that the first man was molded from nature itself makes this all the more interesting.
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