Beyond culture?: Nature/culture dualism and the Christian otherworldly

Ethics and the Environment 11 (2):63-84 (2006)
Abstract
: As Val Plumwood argues, the Christian otherworldly is ecologically problematic. In relation to time, space, being and agency, this article considers the tendency to dualism in Christian appeals to the otherworldly. In the context of Plumwood's critique of nature-skepticism, I ask whether we should also critique an otherworldly skepticism. I then set out five possibilities for understanding the Christian otherworldly in relation to nature and culture. I argue that the otherworldly can be understood not only as a problematic cultural notion that participates in the devaluation of nature, but as a way of understanding the otherness of nature, as having purposes and agencies beyond the cultural construction of earth as world. An understanding of nature as other-worldly presents challenges for both Christian theologies and environmental ethics
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