Monday, October 8, 2007

Out of the Depths.

" Take Refuge in the Lord." Woodcut from Psalm Series. (Printed as "The holy Waters", Asian Trading Corporation, Bangalore, 1984)

Theme II Earth's Epiphanies :Indian Eco-insights
Elemental Images
Given the central image - in much Indian spiritual tradition - of the whole earth, including human life, as the body of God, it is not surprising that many other facets of Indian culture are very different from our modern world’s earth-human, nature-reason dichotomies. Seeing human life - especially our reasoning power - over against unreasoning nature was basic to the Enlightenment that has given birth to our technological miracles. There were always dissenting voices in the West too, but the dominant undergirding philosophy of the western scientific age was that human reason, and our engineering exploits, have to conquer Nature and force her into submission, relentlessly exploiting her to serve human ends. This was precisely the kind of language the 17th century fathers of modernity used.

Christians need to be careful how they interpret those early verses in Genesis that urge humans to have ‘dominion’ over the earth. The command to ‘care for’ her - also found in early Genesis – must surely be given priority. The covenant of caring that God makes with all creatures a few chapters later, promising never again to destroy life on earth, is clearly another important pointer.

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