Nature in the Bible...

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Showing that moral relationships with nature are important throughout the Bible, Austin proposes a liberation theology for the earth itself. The people that God redeems from oppression are also called to rescue their land from pollution. Jesus' community of redemption embraces all creatures.

"This is a ground-breaking book that challenges contemporary thinking about human relationships to the natural world within a biblical theological perspective, and also provides motivation and direction for dealing with some of our most critical ecological problems." - George M. Landes, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew, Union Theological Seminary, New York City.

Hope for the Land: Nature in the Bible. Richard Cartwright Austin. Published in 1988 by John Knox Press. Distributed by Creekside Press. ISBN 0-8042-0861-1. 262 pages softbound. Order here.

Then I heard all the living things in creation- everything that lives in the air, and on the ground, and under the ground, and in the sea, crying,

"To the One who is sitting on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honor, glory and power, for ever and ever."

Revelation 5:13

Baptized into Wilderness | Hope for the Land | Beauty of the Lord
Reclaiming America

From the book...

"I see in the Genesis creation stories a God who delights in all life and who gives men and women the vocation to nurture the world's abundance. This creativity is the ongoing artistry of a vast congregation. Many creatures and natural forms build life, coming together in awareness, nourishment, and delight.

"Biblical ethics do not attribute holiness to features of the landscape. Instead they draw all of life - domestic creatures, wild creatures, and the land itself - into the politics of the covenant relationship where each has distinctive rights and duties. Stories of 'the fall' express how such moral relationships have broken apart to yield sin, oppression, and pollution. Jesus' call for a new kingdom is a call not to withdraw from the world, but to make these relationships right. The hart of the biblical hope is a desire to reestablish a nurturing ecosystem of peace among all peoples and with all species, so that each may live while all worship the Lord together."

"The Bible presumes what modern experience has confirmed: the health of all species depends significantly upon the moral health of the human species. ...Hebrew prophets understood environmental pollution to be nature's experience of human oppression."

"Let us regard Jesus as the Lamb, God incarnate, embracing human flesh and all the earth's liveliness as well as the soil from which we are formed. When we think about Jesus, let us remember the weak of all species and the vulnerable systems of life support, for we may meet Christ among them. And when we deal directly with the natural world, let our love, respect, and careful behavior express the image of God."

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