- Introduction: Religion and Ecology—What Is the Connection and Why Does It Matter?
- The Earth as Sacrament: Insights from Orthodox Christian Theology and Spirituality
- The World of Nature according to the Protestant Tradition
- Jainism and Ecology: Transformation of Tradition
- Hindu Religion and Environmental Well-being
- The Greening of Buddhism: Promise and Perils
- Daoism and Nature
- Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision
- Religion and Ecology in African Culture and Society
- Indigenous Traditions: Religion and Ecology
- Population, Religion, and Ecology
- Genetic Engineering and Nature: Human and Otherwise
- So Near and Yet So Far: Animal Theology and Ecological Theology
- Religious Ecofeminism: Healing the Ecological Crisis
- Science and Religion in the Face of the Environmental Crisis
- Religion and Ecology: Survey of the Field
- The Spiritual Dimension of Nature Writing
- Religion, Environmentalism, and the Meaning of Ecology
- Religious Environmentalism in Action
- Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America
- African Initiated Churches as Vehicles of Earth-Care in Africa
- The Scientist and the Shepherd: The Emergence of Evangelical Environmentalism
- Religion and Environmentalism in America and Beyond
Abstract and Keywords
Judaism is the religious civilization of the Jewish people whose foundational document is the Bible. Throughout Jewish history, attitudes toward the natural world reflected both changing historical conditions of the Jews and foundation beliefs of the Jewish religious worldview, namely, that God, Yahweh, is the sole creator of the universe; that God created humans in his own image; that God revealed his will to Israel in the form of law, the Torah; and that God will redeem Israel and the world from the imperfection of the present. Precisely because nature is created, Judaism does not take nature to be inherently sacred or worthy of veneration. Instead, nature is viewed as imperfect, requiring human management and care: only human actions in accord with divine commands sanctify nature, making it holy. This article discusses Judaism and ecology, conceptions of nature in Jewish sources, environmental ethics in Jewish legal sources, modern Jewish reflections on nature, and Jewish environmentalism.
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is professor of history at Arizona State University in Tempe. She holds a PhD in Jewish philosophy and kabbalah from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1978) and a BA in Religious Studies from SUNY in Stony Brook (1974). Prior to joining the faculty of Arizona State University, she taught at Columbia University, Emory University, and Indiana University. Her research focuses on medieval and early-modern Jewish intellectual history, feminism and Jewish philosophy, and Judaism and ecology. In addition to many articles and book chapters, she is the author of Between Worlds: The Life and Work of Rabbi David ben Judah Messer Leon, which received the award of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the best work in Jewish history for 1991, and Happiness in Premodern Judaism: Virtue, Knowledge, and Well-Being in Pre-modern Judaism. She is also the editor of Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed World and Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy. She is currently at work on a book tentatively titled Judaism and Nature and edits Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life: The Legacy of Hans Jonas.
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