Loving Nature

Environmental Ethics 15 (1):3-25 (1993)
Abstract
Christian ethics are usually based on a theology of love. In the case of Christian relationships to nature, Christian environmental writers have either suggested eros as a primary source for Christian love, without dealing with traditional Christian arguments against eros, or have assumed agape (spiritual love or sacrificial love) is the appropriate mode, without defining how agape should function in human relationships with the nonhuman portion of the universe. I demonstrate that God’s love for nature has the same form and characteristics as God’s love for human beings, and that because agape is self-giving, it is preferable to eros in relationships with the environment. Agape concerning nature (I) is spontaneous and unmotivated, (2) is indifferent to value, (3) creates value, (4) initiates relationships with the divine, (5) recognizes individuality, (6) provides freedom, and (7) produces action and suffering. Agape might best be defined, not as Platonic ascent above the world, but as completely self-giving engagement with the world. Human love for nature is often limited by a human inability to accept love, including divine love, from nature. Flowing from God, agape cannot require reciprocity; yet agape understands what “the other has to give and can offer it complete valuation. Agape is the ideal form of human interaction with nature, because agape does not require equal status or ability, or common goals or needs. Love between humans and members of the land (or sea) community can be sacrificial, and should be distinguished by a loss of self-regard and a willingness to suffer. Further philosophical and theological discussion of the role of reciprocity and sacrifice in love for nature is highly desirable
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0163-4275
DOI 10.5840/enviroethics199315144
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,167
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Loving Nature: Eros or Agape?Susan P. Bratton - 1992 - Environmental Ethics 14 (1):3-25.
Love, Christian and Diverse: A Response to Colin Grant.Edward Collins Vacek - 1996 - Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (1):29-34.
For the Love of God: Agape.Colin Grant - 1996 - Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (1):3-21.
Pure Love.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1980 - Journal of Religious Ethics 8 (1):83 - 99.
Lamenting the Loss of Love: A Response to Colin Grant.Carter Heyward - 1996 - Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (1):23-28.
Review: Love in Contemporary Christian Ethics. [REVIEW]Stephen J. Pope - 1995 - Journal of Religious Ethics 23 (1):165-197.
Agape in Feminist Ethics.Barbara Hilkert Andolsen - 1981 - Journal of Religious Ethics 9 (1):69 - 83.
Love: A History.Simon May - 2011 - Yale University Press.
Love: A Secret History.Simon May - 2011 - Yale University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-01-09

Total downloads

27 ( #185,235 of 2,153,328 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #399,611 of 2,153,328 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums