Agriculture and Human Values 10 (4):50-57 (1993)

Recently there has been considerable controversy over the environmental impact of Christian teaching. During the beginnings of our increased awareness of the ecological crisis, several strong papers appeared condemning Christianity for encouraging environmental exploitation. Recently a number of works have sought to defend the Judeo-Christian tradition by emphasizing different aspects of a message that allegedly promotes environmentally friendly behavior. Overall, however, these interpretations exhibit doubtful ontic significance. It is the contention of this paper that Christianity evolved profoundly after the Renaissance and the Reformation and with attendant intellectual changes encouraged an exploitative attitude towards the natural environment. These post Renaissance attitudes suppressed or supplanted the attitudes towards the created order engendered by Hellenic thought that were prominent during the Middle Ages. This change in perspective is most evident in the promotion of instrumental reason rather than a model of rationality based on contemplation, which had been the inheritance of Classical philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/BF02217560
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The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis.Lynn White Jr - forthcoming - Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application, Belmont: Wadsworth Company.
In Defense of Dominion.Lloyd H. Steffen - 1992 - Environmental Ethics 14 (1):63-80.

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