Environmental Worldview: The Hebrew Bible

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In light of today’s most pressing environmental problems, many discuss what led us to end up in the midst of such a crisis. Many agree that our issues stem from a general negligence and disrespect of our natural resources. However, what led us to develop perspectives that permit environmentally-negative behaviors? Many agree that this line of thinking stems back to religious texts, such as The Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible, specifically Genesis 1 and 2, emphasize an anthropocentric, or human-centered, environmental worldview (an environmental worldview is a set of collective beliefs and values that give people a sense of how the world works, their role in the environment, and right and wrong behavior towards the environment). But, in examining…show more content…
This worldview, generally, discourages actions that harm the environment. This worldview less so underscores the notion that humanity is far superior than other species, but instead demonstrates a connectedness. Genesis 2:7 represents this worldview in the Hebrew Bible. This verse states “...the Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth.” Instead of affirming the higher position of humanity, this passages outlines the relationship that the creation of humanity has to nature. God does not create humanity separately from nature, but due to His usage of natural materials, humanity is instead a product of the earth. Next, there is evidence for the stewardship model in Genesis 2:15. It states, “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it.” When God creates humanity, the original occupation of man is to care for the earth. God does not just say that Adam can take from The Garden of Eden, but instead he must labor to make sure it continually grows. Thus, Adam is the original steward of the earth. The life and occupation of Adam is a direct representation of the stewardship…show more content…
While there is some evidence that humanity should view nature as something that solely exists for humanity 's benefit, other evidence emphasizes a more balanced relationship between nature and humanity. Overall, this more balanced, caring approach to nature is a bigger message throughout Genesis 1 and 2 and thus, these two sections of The Hebrew Bible are advocating for an Environmental Stewardship approach. In order to solve our pressing environmental problems, it is vital that those within different religious traditions understand what The Bible is truly advocating for, and make changes to their daily life to reflect the commandments of their
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