Title

In Support of Lynn White: Rethinking Christian Theology in light of the Ecological Crisis

Abstract

Debates on the ecological crisis's existence, affect and history increase as the public becomes concerned with issues of climate change and overpopulation. In 1967, medieval historian Lynn White wrote a journal article that blamed Christianity for the ecological crisis due to religious axioms that endorsed the belief that humans are separate from, and more important than, the rest of nature. White argued that this belief was destructive and was linked to science and technology, which today enable widespread destruction through innovative equipment. He argued that because Christianity was to blame for the ecological crisis it was also responsible to solve it, through revising their problematic traditional beliefs on the human-nature relationship. White's thesis spurred Christian theologians to defend beliefs within their faith, typically by upholding traditional axioms or by criticizing White for misreading Biblical passages. However, many of the arguments against White's claims are shown in this thesis to fail to fully challenge his claims. Additionally, there is a current trend among certain Christian ecological theologians who argue for changes within traditional Christian teachings which indirectly supports White's charge against Christianity. This thesis argues that the combination of ineffective challenges to White's thesis and the indirect support currently found in Christian eco-theology, White's argument may have been inaccurately rejected. Further, this thesis calls for individual readers to reconsider their understanding of the human-nature relationship and to what degree their ecological values influence behavior.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2007

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Schippert, Claudia

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Humanities

Subjects

Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0022131

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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