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Article Title

The Fate of Nature

Abstract

The Judaeo-Christian tradition of Creation with its directives for humans to subdue and to have dominion over the Earth has been seen as a factor in the generation of negative or exploitative attitudes towards the natural world, especially among Christians who interpret the Creation stories literally. As a corrective, in recent decades scholars have developed a rationale for stewardship of nature based on these same and other Biblical passages. However, much less attention has been given to the implications of beliefs about the end-time (eschatology). Seventh-day Adventists, along with some other Christians, anticipate that a fiery obliteration of the Earth’s surface will usher in the kingdom of God. Logically such beliefs might not be expected to generate any particular concern for the well-being of the non-human Creation. A few Adventist authors have called for some amendment to or revision of traditionally-held eschatology as it concerns the fate of nature. Nevertheless there is some evidence that many Seventh-day Adventists feel that there is a basis for caring for the Creation in spite of its imminent annihilation. However, in company with many Biblical literalists, practical action is generally lacking from personal agenda. Some reasons for the apparent dissonance between eschatological beliefs and environmental concern are suggested.

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