The “Environment,” Climate Change, and Covid-19: An Opportunity for Serious Reflection

Speaker(s): Iain Provan
Date: Spring 2020
Length: 1h 24m
Product ID: RGDL5002J

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It has become almost a truism in many parts of the contemporary environmental movement that Christian faith is much too anthropocentric to be of any use in saving the planet; those who think that God has given humanity dominion over the earth are the last people who are going to take the radical steps necessary now to rescue it from destruction. The truth of the matter is, however, that this “dominion” is a biological as much as a theological fact. The question is not whether humanity possesses it, but only how we shall use it. Biblical faith tells us how we should use it in line with God’s love and justice, both of which the believer is bound to see at work in realities like climate change and the outbreak of the Covid-19 plague. Biblical faith also provides us with the hope that we need in order to persevere in the task of dominion, even when it seems difficult and perhaps impossible. Contrary to much prevailing opinion, then, it is precisely those who truly believe what Holy Scripture teaches us about our human vocation who are likely to be the first people to take the radical steps necessary to save the planet. The problem is that many people do not truly believe it, even if they generally claim to be Bible-believing Christians.

See All Audio by Iain Provan

Iain W. Provan is the E. Marshall Shepherd Professor of Biblical Studies (Old Testament) at Regent College. He has previously taught at King's College London, the University of Wales, and the University of Edinburgh. He is author of Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why it Matters, Convenient Myths: The Axial Age, Dark Green Religion, and the World that Never Was, commentaries on 1 & 2 Kings, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, and Lamentations, and co-author (with V. Phillips Long and Tremper Longman III) of A Biblical History of Israel. He is also a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

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