The Greening of Protestant Thought

By Robert Booth Fowler | Go to book overview

THE PROTESTANT ENVIRONMENTALIST AGENDA

The practical implication of much of the discussion among Protestant thinkers about the environment is not immediately obvious. Arguments abound over the Bible's teachings regarding the ecosystem, and there are numerous and sometimes contradictory theological reflections about God, people, and nature. The topics Protestant environmentalists confront are diverse and enriching--stewardship, the Book of Genesis, creation, ecofeminism, process theology, end times, and much more. But at some point one has to wonder, what is the connection with action? When does Protestant environmentalism shift from theory to practice? Where is its effort to think about how to transform God's world in response to crisis? What agenda do green Protestants propose?

In this chapter and the next, this book turns directly to the green Protestant agenda. The focus of this chapter is Protestant environmentalist goals for change, granting from the start the diversity in this literature. The focus of the next chapter is on the proposed means of change.

Three directions appear, often in combination, in ecological Protestant agendas for change. First, there are many specific policy proposals, even long lists of proposals, that represent the most down-to-earth policy side of Protestant environmentalism. Second, one particular objective--the goal of a transformed ecological consciousness--represents, for its advocates, an essential end in itself and the key to other more structural changes. It reflects a consistent pattern in Protestant environmentalist thought, the conviction that ideas matter--even or especially when it comes to action. Finally, one branch concentrates on three main structural reforms--or revolutions?--that are the heart of the green Protestant action agenda: creating a sustainable society of limits; fostering an egalitarian community; and speeding the arrival of a world order of eco-justice.

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The Greening of Protestant Thought
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Protestants Face the Environment 13
  • 2 - The Bible as (contested) Foundation 28
  • 3 - Dissent and Protestant Fundamentalism 45
  • 4 - The Argument Over Christianity 58
  • 5 - Stewardship 76
  • Toward Eco-Theology 91
  • Process Environmentalism 108
  • 8 - The Ecofeminist Challenge 123
  • The Protestant Environmentalist Agenda 141
  • 10 - Politics and the Means to Change 159
  • Conclusion 175
  • Notes 181
  • Bibliography 207
  • SCRIPTURE INDEX 237
  • GENERAL INDEX 238
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