Judaism and the Science of Ecology

Authored by: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415492447
eBook ISBN: 9780203803516
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634178


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Nathaniel F. Barrett and William R. Jordan, III are right to claim that the science of ecology has exerted a limited impact on the discourse of religion and ecology. In that discourse the term “ecology” is not a “branch of biology that deals with the relationships between organisms and their environments” but a “synonym for environmental ethics, [which focuses its] attention on religious cosmologies as resources for improved relationship between humanity and the rest of nature” (Chapter 30 in this volume). The discourse of religion and ecology is scientifically flawed, because Christian ecotheologies have promoted a model of nature as “harmonious, interconnected, and interdependent community” (Sideris 2003: 2), which the science of ecology has falsified. An accurate understanding of the theory of evolution, the core of the science of ecology, makes clear that nature is not governed by balance and order, but by flux and disorder.

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