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Creation and ecology: A biblical wisdom perspective

1:00pm on Saturday 27 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

We are all familiar with the Genesis account of creation, but it is little known that there is a rich, alternative creation tradition in the Bible from the wisdom books of Proverbs and Job.  Problems have arisen from taking Genesis 1-3 as the starting point for a steer as to how to treat our planet – ideas of dominion and human-centredness have cast a long shadow.  It is time for a fresh approach.  Proverbs 8 is the first text considered, that presents us with a metaphorical female figure of Wisdom, created by God and present during the first acts of creation, expressing delight at God’s works but also involved in sustaining the world in relationship with humans and the wider world.  Job 38-9 is the second text considered, a text that presents God’s own description of his creation in answer to Job.  God details the wonders and otherness of creation, notably seen in the behaviours of animals, but also stresses his nurturing and sustaining of that creation.  This points us away from emphasis solely on the original creative act (as in Genesis; Psalm 104) towards a more interactive, sustaining, evolutionary approach.  Three key principles of a modern ecological approach are related to these texts, notably interrelationship and interaction; well-being and flourishing; and recognition of the value of all life, human and non-human.  Finally, Job 12:7-9 suggests that the animal world might have something to teach human beings.  This is surely a pointer to a new vision of our duty of care for our precious planet in all its biodiversity.

Katharine Dell is Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology at the Faculty of Divinity. This talk is part of the Quick Bites // Religion and Theology at Lunchtime series.

Booking/Registration is: UNAVAILABLE

You can access this event on the Faculty of Divinity YouTube channel

Additional Information

Age: Adults, Young Adults 12 – 18
Timing: Available on Demand, Live Stream
Theme: Environment

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