Religion

Secret Synagogue Reading for Environmentalists

As the Jewish High Holy Days approach, it is of course time for thinking deeply about…. what books you will read in shul during services.  Rabbis extol Rosh Hashanah Mussaf as liturgical brilliance, but the rest of us find it to be spiritual chloroform. Well, fortunately enough, the Jewish environmentalist literature has gotten better over the last …

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What Is Green Kosher?

“Green Kosher” is the new advertising tag for Empire Kosher food processors, based in rural Pennsylvania.  But what does it mean? There is an important backstory here.  Empire is the nation’s leading kosher poultry producer, which has aggressively pursued a progressive image in the media (and particularly the Jewish media).  It has done this even …

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The Greening of Tisha B’Av

Three days ago, I fasted on the Jewish holy day of Tisha B’Av, which marks and commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Jews observe the day also by reading Eikha, the biblical Book of Lamentations.  No fast day could be considered pleasant, but it has always been a particularly meaningful …

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An Unlikely Environmentalist: Samson Raphael Hirsch

Orthodox Judaism today has presented several strong views on many issues, usually centering on hot-button social issues such as gay marriage, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  That’s why it was a real surprise for me to read about the strong environmentalist stance of Samson Raphael Hirsch, the founder and true intellectual giant of Modern Orthodox Judaism. …

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The Real Mistake in Dominion Theology

At about this time last year I wrote a post on dominion theology, a type of Christian belief that, when it comes to the environment, takes the notion of humanity’s rule over nature very seriously and sees humanity’s rule as something close to absolute.  It comes from the passage in Genesis 1:26, which reads: And God …

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Climate Change and Providential Irony

Jed suggests that “the belief that climate change can’t be real because God made the earth for us to use is just one instance of a deep and old American practice of enlisting nature to uphold our cultural and political identities – to prove that the world is made for people like us.”  That may be …

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Does Christian Environmental Thought Rest on a Mistake?

Talk to Christians interested in relating their faith to environmental concerns, and at some point the phrase “Dominion Theology” will arise.  This comes from Genesis 1:26, which is conventionally translated as And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, …

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Christianity and Environmental Stewardship

The title of this post refers to a subject that I lack standing to discuss.  But this being Christmas, I thought it might be appropriate to link to the Evangelical Environmental Network, which has this to say: The earthly result of human sin has been a perverted stewardship, a patchwork of garden and wasteland in …

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How Religion and Environmentalism Can Mix Productively

A few weeks ago, I posted on religion on the environment, expressing some skepticism that religion could be useful in environmental policy debates.  After thinking about it a bit, I’ve revised that view somewhat, for a reason that can actually be encapsulated pretty succinctly: Religion is not economics. That’s pretty obvious, of course, but it …

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