Friday, April 14, 2006

Making Nature Sacred

See John Gatta's book Making Nature Sacred (OUP) 2004

The third chapter (Three Intimations of an Environmental Ethic in the Writings of Jonathan Edwards) addresses JE. The abstract says ...

Although the renowned Calvinist divine Jonathan Edwards scarcely fits the conventional image of a nature writer, his work embodies a theology of Creation that has important implications for environmental ethics. As such, his ethical philosophy anticipates--in several surprising but instructive ways—the twentieth-century "land ethic" set forth by Aldo Leopold in his Sand County Almanac. Edwards's notion of "benevolence to Being in general," as articulated in The Nature of True Virtue, is a theocentric ideal that resists the anthropocentric assumption that nature exists solely to fulfill human needs and desires. Edwards's vision of Creation as an all-encompassing and sacred beauty thus anticipates the modern sense of "ecology" that likewise affirms the interactive unity of all living and nonliving things


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