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Ellen Davis’ agrarian reading of The Bible

Ellen Davis’ agrarian reading of The Bible

Ellen Davis, an Episcopal theologian at Duke Divinity School, is among the leaders of a group of scholars developing a Biblically based understanding of what it means to care for God’s creation. Religion News Service has taken note:

Th[e] point – that the Bible does not separate human life from nonhuman life and that God cares for all creation – is consistent throughout her writings.

But neither does Davis shirk from the one passage that has embittered so many environmental activists – God’s command to humankind in Genesis 1:28 to “subdue” the Earth and have “dominion” over its creatures.

“The notion that the God who created heaven and earth does not care that we do damage to the heavens and the earth is completely incoherent,” said Davis, an Episcopalian. “We are answerable to God for how we use the physical order to meet our physical needs.”

Find out more about Davis’ groundbreaking book Scripture, Culture and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible.


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Richard III

Unfortunately there are far too many of us who don’t understand that mankind has a responsibility to be good stewards of the earth but believe instead that having “dominion” over implies we can do anything we want to it – rape, pillage and burn, it matters not. Neither capitalism or communism have shown themselves to be economic systems that have any respect for the air, the water or the soil and that lack of respect will come back to bite us.

Richard Warren

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