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The Bible and Ecology
Rediscovering the Community of Creation
With his characteristic rigor and perceptiveness, Richard Bauckham embarks on a biblical investigation into the relationship between human beings and the rest of creation. Bauckham argues that there is much more to the Bible’s understanding of this relationship than the mandate of human dominion given in Genesis 1—which, he writes, has too often been used as a justification for domination and exploitation of the earth’s resources. Instead, Bauckham considers the ecological perspectives found in the book of Job, the Psalms, and the Gospels, all of which, he determines, require a re-evaluation of the biblical tradition of “dominion.” Bauckham discovers a tradition of a “community of creation” in which human beings are fellow members with God’s other creatures and true reconciliation to God involves the entire creation. Short, reliable, and engaging, The Bible and Ecology is essential reading for anyone looking for a biblically grounded approach to ecology.
1 Stewardship in Question
2 Putting Us in Our Place
3 The Community of Creation
4 Where the Wild Things Are
5 From Alpha to Omega
"In this book Richard Bauckham brings his characteristic clarity of thought and attentiveness to textual detail to matters of theology and ecology. Ranging well beyond the accounts of Genesis 1-2, Bauckham presents the rich, complex and multilayered ways in which the Bible speaks about humans, animals and the rest of creation. Bauckham's analysis suggests a lively and life-giving set of prescriptions for how humans might engage and even enhance creation without violating its God-given integrity."
—Stephen Fowl, Professor of Theology, Loyola University Maryland
"Bauckham has a made a valuable contribution to the debate about how ecology relates to the Bible, especially the move from ecological inter-dependence to creation as a community of crucial and meaningful inter-relationships."
—Norman Habel, Professorial Fellow, Flinders University, South Australia
"Bauckham has forced us to reconsider again the question of stewardship and the place of humans in the community of creation. He carefully explores a range of biblical texts that highlight God's care of creation and the place of humans in that community."
—Review of Biblical Literature (August 2011)
"A great resource ... on Christianity and the environment."
—Brian C. Dennert, Themelios (2011, 36:3)
“Extremely significant in its thesis and compelling in its execution, The Bible and Ecology even has a touch of humor here and there.”
—Bruce Longenecker, W.W. Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University
"Without question the book is essential reading for anyone interested in the Bible's understanding of ecology and humanity's place in God's community of creation. The book is accessible to general readers and is an indispensable source for scholars. It should be carefully and widely read."
—Reviews in Religion and Theology (2012, 19:1)
Richard Bauckham is Professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. A fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is the author of many books including Jesus and the Eye-Witnesses (winner of the 2009 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing) and Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World.