environmental apathy/ illiteracy matters more than dominion beliefs

ch.2, ec-p.23 – reasons why attributing christian’s lack of environmental concern to just religious-based dominion over nature beliefs is misplaced and too simple an explanation for understanding the complex role of religion has for how people do, or do not, express different forms and examples of environmentalism…

“There also is not agreement in the literature about even the specific religious and theological beliefs others find having a negative association with expressions of environmental concern. Some analysts argue dominion beliefs and attitudes are not uniquely Christian today. Instead, they are associated with certain social and demographic characteristics, and grounded in more comprehensive arrays of views and values. Hayes and Marangudakis (2001) found British Christians and non-Christians alike expressed dominion over nature attitudes, that lower educational attainment or less scientific knowledge most encouraged it, and atheists expressed them significantly more. Others in the US also find them most prevalent “among those with little formal education or environmental knowledge” and conclude domion beliefs have more complex religious and non-religious origins because religious salience and church attendance are not associated with them (Woodrum and Hoban 1994). Finally, among US Presbyterian ministers of Lynn White’s religious denominational affiliation, Holland and Carter (2005) found nearly everyone identified themselves as “stewards of the Earth rather than dominions” when provided with text definitions of each position. Evidence like this further confounds the association between these religion and environmentalism measures.”

 

 

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