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HSC SOR - Christianity (Environmental Ethics)

Christian ethical teaching on Environmental Ethics
by

Peter Solomakos

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of HSC SOR - Christianity (Environmental Ethics)

Found in the NSW BOS Stage 6 studies of Religion Syllabus in the HSC section under The Religious Tradition Depth Study - Christianity (pg 39-40). THE TOPIC THE CONTEXT OF CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS > Genesis 1 – 2, which states that God created the universe out of nothing and continues to sustain all creation. It also suggests that the task of human beings is to reflect God’s creative love, and their covenant relationship with God, by caring for the earth as good stewards (Gen 1:27) and as faithful gardeners (Gen 2:15)

> Jesus recognises the Creator as a loving parent who is concerned for all created things (Mt 6:25-35) and who is also concerned for those who are good and evil (Mt 5:33). The fact that Jesus uses many images from nature (e.g. fish, bird) reinforces its importance in Christian teaching. There are at least six key principles that underlie Christian beliefs about ecology and the environment. KEY PRINCIPLES Christian Ethical Teachings Environmental Ethics The focus of this study is the contribution of significant people, ideas, practices and ethical teachings to an understanding of Christianity as a living religious tradition. The study of Christianity is to be of the WHOLE tradition where applicable. Students Learn About:

Ethics
•ONE of the following areas of ethical teaching in Christianity:
–bioethics
–environmental ethics
–sexual ethics

Students Learn To:

•describe and explain Christian ethical teachings on bioethics OR environmental ethics OR sexual ethics The world is considered by Christians to be God’s creation and human beings are stewards or caretakers of it. The environment is one concern that has only recently been placed on the agenda of Christian Churches. Although it has long been understood as an important biblical theme, it has not always been viewed as a top priority amongst most Christians. Questions of prosperity, materialism, economics and sheer exploration had become more important than the need to care for the earth In recent times Christians have begun to ask complex questions about ecology and the environment.

Such questions have challenged Christians to return to their scripture, theology and doctrine to re examine their approach to the environment. Two examples of this include: SCRIPTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS 1. The goods of God’s earth are to be shared by all
2. It is important to live in a safe and life giving environment
3. The diversity of life has inherent value because it testifies to the grandeur and glory of God the creator
4. Aesthetic and prayerful appreciation of the beauty of the universe is a classic path to knowledge and love of God
5. Attempts at resolving environmental abuse must not ignore the poor, who share the human right to authentic development
6. A new spirit of Solidarity among all nations is needed to resolve environmental issues. APPLICATION OF CHRISTIAN ETHICAL TEACHING
TO ISSUES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS Most Christian churches today, in principle, accept that to be fully human in the twenty first century requires being intimately involved with caring for the earth.
The spectrum of environmental issues is so enormous – where is one to begin ? One could apply Christian Ethical Teachings to:

Globally:
World Heritage listings
The impact of European land use
Global warming
Land clearage
Salinity
Water issues

Within Australia:
Endangered species
Wildlife trade and conservation ACTIVITY Tell me the landscape in which you live, and I will tell you who you are.
(Ortega y Gasset) Jenkins, J. (2003). Environmental Ethics and Animal Rights. In Ethics and Religion. (2nd ed.). (pp. 149-162). Oxford, England: Heinemann Educational Publishers.

Morrissey, J., Mudge, P., Taylor, A., Bailey, G., & Rule, P. (2005). Christianity Depth Study 11.2.3 Environmental ethics. In Living Religion. (3rd ed.). (pp. 324-327). Melbourne, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Schaefer, J. (2009). Theological Foundations for Environmental Ethics: Reconstructing Patristic & Medieval Concepts. Washington D.C, USA: Georgetown University Press.

Hartney, C. (2008). Cambridge studies of religion: Stage 6. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. REFERENCES ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS ENVIRONMENTS ETHICS IS ... An ecological conscience or moral that reflects a commitment and responsibility toward the environment, including plants and animals as well as present and future generations of people. Oriented toward human societies living in harmony with the natural world on which they depend for survival and well being.
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