James Nash as Christian Deep Ecologist

Forging a New Eco-theology for the Third Millennium

Authors

  • Bernard Daley Zaleha University of Californai, Santa Cruz

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v3i2.279

Keywords:

Theology, biodiversity, deep ecology

Abstract

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral, first explicated by Albert Outler, understands Christian doctrine as grounded in biblical scripture, church tradition, personal experience and reason, with scripture as the primary guide but in dialogue with the other three. In his article, James Nash inverted the Quadrilateral to give primacy to reason and experience, with experience expanded to include all available empirical data, receiving inspiration from scripture and tradition so long as they do not contradict the conclusions necessarily drawn from a rational reflection upon all experience, including empirical data as interpreted by science. From this inverted Quadrilateral, Nash concludes that the massive, anthropogenic losses to biodiversity ‘matter morally, not primarily because these other species are instrumental values for human needs and wants, but rather because these species are goods for themselves—intrinsic values—that humans ought to respect’. In so concluding, Nash created a Christian Deep Ecology that respects the intrinsic value of all creation.

References

Abbey, Edward. 1982. Down the River (New York: Dutton).

Barrett, J. Edward. 2002. ‘A Pilgrim’s Progress: From the Westminster Shorter Catechism to Naturalistic Pantheism’, American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 23.2: 154-72.

Fox, Matthew. 1988. The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco).

Glacken, Clarence J. 1967. Traces on the Rhodian Shore: Nature and Culture in Western Thought from Ancient Times to the End of the Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Taylor, Bron. 2009. Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Taylor, Bron (ed.). 2005. Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (London: Continuum International).

Taylor, Bron, and Michael Zimmerman. 2005. ‘Deep Ecology’, in Taylor 2005: 456-60.

United Methodist Church. 2004. The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (United Methodist Publishing House), reproduced on the website of United Methodist Church. Online: http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1664 and http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1670 (accessed 17 April 2009).

Zaleha, Bernard Daley. 2006. ‘Recovering Christian Pantheism as the Lost Gospel of Creation’. Paper presented at the Inaugural Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, at the University of Florida, 8 April 2006. Published by the Fund for Christian Ecology. Online: http://www.christianecology.org/Zaleha_ChristianPantheismRevisited.pdf (accessed 17 April 2009).

Published

2009-07-22

How to Cite

Zaleha, B. D. (2009). James Nash as Christian Deep Ecologist: Forging a New Eco-theology for the Third Millennium. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 3(2), 279–289. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v3i2.279