Nature in the Sources of Judaism

Daedalus Journal Special Issue Religion and Ecology:
Can the Climate Change?

Written by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

Along with Christianity, Judaism has been indicted as one cause of our current environmental crisis. In his famous essay, Lynn White Jr. alleged that the anthropocentrism of the Judeo-Christian tradition “made it possible to exploit all nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.”1 According to White, the biblical command “to fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28) is the proof that the Judeo-Christian tradition puts humans above the rest of creation and regards all other forms of life as subordinate. The many environmentalists who endorsed White’s views have thus charged that Judaism and Christianity are directly responsible for the kinds of human conduct that have brought about the depletion of the planet’s natural resources.

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Buddhism and Ecology

Daedalus
Special Issue
Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change?
Vol. 130, No. 4
Fall 2001

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