Christian Outlook and the Problem of Nature Conservation

  1. Lemma
  2. Христианское мировоззрение и проблема охраны природы
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecology and the environment
  6. 04-06-2018
  7. Иванов, Александр Александрович [Author]. Христианское мировоззрение и проблема охраны природы
  8. Теология. Философия. Право
  9. Monastery - ecological crisis - ecological consciousness - Russian Orthodoxy - environmental protection
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Иванов, Александр Александрович (2017). Христианское мировоззрение и проблема охраны природы. <em>Теология. Философия. Право</em>, (1), 7-16. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The article considers the role that the provisions of the Old Testament can have for the formation of an ecological culture in modern society. The author argues that, in contrast to the widespread criticism of Christianity for its anthropocentric attitude to the environment, the Christian worldview preaches a cautious and careful attitude toward nature.

      The Old Testament urges man to “possess” or “master” the surrounding world which means that humanity is to be a caring and mindful manager of the world. Man is to take care of it and preserve it following the instructions of its “owner”, God. The author highlights that according to Scripture, the Lord is satisfied with his deed (the world he created), which forces a good Christian to “keep” the world as it is. Furthermore, the Old Testament stresses that animals have certain “powers” and rights (such as eating certain food), which means that moral and ethical norms apply to them.

      It is argued that examples of the God-pleasing relationship between different branches of Christianity and the environment are manifested in stories about saints: the feeding of the bear by Seraphim of Sarov in Orthodoxy or the careful attitude of Francis of Assisi to earthworms in Catholicism. Christian literature does not contain examples of intentional destruction of nature. The article argues that in Russia the monastery economy has always served as an example of careful ecological management. Today, the Sarov monastery’s forest conservation activities represent an example of this careful attitude toward the environment.

      This ecological orientation and conscientious and careful attitude to nature are emphasised in the “Fundamentals of the Social Conception of the Russian Orthodox Church,” which calls attention to the fact that the degradation of nature is caused by degrading spirituality. The Russian Orthodox Church maintains that a complete overcoming of our current ecological crisis in conditions of spiritual crisis is unthinkable.

      The author concludes by noting that the sacred attitude towards nature, established within the Christian worldview, represents a suitable basis for bringing about ideas of biocentrism and equal dialogue with nature, which modern philosophy urges. He believes that such a religious basis is more viable and justified than the ideas of "sustainable development" and "rational use of nature", which, in his view, are anthropocentric and consumerist in their attitude toward nature.