The Population Explosion and Christian Responsibility

The Population Explosion and Christian Responsibility

The Population Explosion and Christian Responsibility

The Population Explosion and Christian Responsibility

Excerpt

For many years one of my responsibilities has been to provide church leaders in the ecumenical movement with background data and analysis on various international problems which might help them to arrive at informed policy decisions. Indeed, the seed of the present survey grew out of such memoranda. In a sense, it is a memorandum on a larger scale and addressed more widely to our clergy and laity, as well as to interested people outside the churches. I make no pretentious claims concerning this review on aspects of the contemporary population problem. I have relied principally on the more readily available and familiar resources, without attempting an exhaustive survey of foreign works. The practical urgency of the issues here presented, rather than the ideal of comprehensive scholarship with the delays that that entails, is the dominant concern. In fact, I have reluctantly eliminated a good many references helpful to the special student in the hope of securing a wider audience. The need to confront the implications of the population explosion is now, not a decade from now.

This is a book about the dilemmas posed by the new pressures of population and the need for a more widely held and vigorously supported Christian doctrine of responsible parenthood. It is not a book about 'overpopulation.' That is a highly ambiguous term, for it ignores the possible improvement of underdeveloped resources. Moreover it implies that a certain percentage of human beings are 'surplus.' That is a conclusion which Christians cannot accept. Rather, rates of population growth may be dangerous in relation to rates of development, and need to be restrained by responsible parenthood. That is the subject dealt with here.

In a real sense, this is an unfinished work. It does not close with a rousing conclusion like a musical finale. One reason is that the . . .

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