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Tag Archives: Lynn Townsend White Jr.

ch.2, ec-p.26 – why the association of religion with environmentalism is more complex than reducing it to a single measure of religiosity such as dominion or biblical literalism religious beliefs…

“In response to the still ambiguous evidence for the association of religion with environmentalism, some attribute the dampening effect of dominion belief and biblical literalism on environmental concern to a more encompassing fundamentalist orientation with both religious and non-religious cultural foundations. In this view, “Dominion Theology” has no scriptural basis and its associated environmental attitudes are not biblically based (Eckberg and Blocker 1996). This approach “would account for the ubiquitous Fundamentalism effect and could leave room for the positive effect of religious participation…[and] explain why we find independent effects of fundamentalist affiliation that do not clearly flow from the [Lynn White] Dominion hypothesis and why Bible belief has no independent effects [on environmental concern]” (Eckberg and Blocker 1996).”

 

 

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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.”

 

 

ch.2, ec-p.20 – how the relationship between religion and environmental concern appears when the influence of social-demographic variables is controlled and individual environmental behaviors (recycling) are distinguished from willingness to support environmental policy when compared with measures of religiosity (beliefs, attitudes, behaviors)…

“Others caution against unmerited confirmations of Lynn White’s assertions of the anti-environmentalist tendencies of western Christianity and its believers (REF). The strength of association between Judeo-Christian and religious conservative identity and their opposition to environmental regulations remains “very low” once analysts account for age, education, sex, and geography (Kanagy and Nelsen 1995). Distinguishing policy-related measures of environmental concern from its other expressions brings more clarity to religion’s role in environmentalism. Evangelical Protestants “are no less likely to exhibit [attitudinal expressions of] concern about climate change” than Roman Catholics, but they are more inclined to oppose environmental policy and government regulation addressing it (Swartz 2008).”

 

 

ch.2, ec-p.11 – introductory paragraph to summary of religion and environmental concern research whose major findings include an overall positive role of religion with environmentalism, or studies showing a generally mixed association…

“Positive association and mixed influence. TABLE 2.A identifies studies where analysts either find measures of religiosity corresponding positively overall with examples of environmental concern or see mixed evidence of religion’s role in environmentalism. This evidence appears despite Lynn White’s decades-old charge that western Christianity creates contemporary ecological crises in modern societies (White 1967).”

 

 

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