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Environmental Ethics

Volume 10, Issue 4, Winter 1988

Jeanne Kay
Pages 309-327
DOI: 10.5840/enviroethics198810438

Concepts of Nature in the Hebrew Bible

The lack of resolution in the debate about the Bible’s environmental despotism or stewardship may be resolved by more literal and literary approaches. When the Bible is examined in its own terms, rather than in those of current environmentalism, the Bible’s own perspectives on nature and human ecology emerge. The Hebrew Bible’s principal environmental theme is of nature’s assistance in divine retribution. The Bible’s frequent deployment of contradiction as a literary device, however, tempers this perspective to present amoral, yet multi-sided view of nature.