The reworking of evangelical Christian ecocultural identity in the Creation Care movement

Authored by: Emma Frances Bloomfield

Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138478411
eBook ISBN: 9781351068840
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351068840-12

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Abstract

In Chapter 12 of the Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Bloomfield performs a rhetorical analysis of the Creation Care movement, which pairs biblical teachings with support for environmental advocacy. The author explores the movement’s guiding narrative and how Creation Care members perform their ecocentric identity through a survey of active members. Member responses provide an opportunity to interrogate how potentially competing and contradictory positionalities – Christianity and environmentalism – are negotiated. The Creation Care movement invokes unique interpretations of biblical verses and unites conventional Christian tenets with the additional consideration of humans as a respectful and responsible part of creation. While many Christians oppose government-implemented environmental protections and may even welcome climate disruption as a sign of the Apocalypse, some Christians are finding ways to balance their religious identities with ecological concerns. The Creation Care movement serves as an important case study in contemporary performances of intersectional ecocultural identities. The author’s analysis offers insight into ways Creation Care movement members’ values and interpretative work deviate from traditional assumptions regarding Christians being anti-environment. The ecocentric Christian identity fostered by the Creation Care movement represents a reconfiguration of the relationship between Christianity and the biosphere, which may produce new opportunities for environmental advocacy.

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