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The Modernistic Roots of Our Ecological Crisis: The Lynn White Thesis at Fifty

Andrew J. Spencer

Abstract


This article reviews the history of Lynn White’s influential essay “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis” and its evaluation of Christianity as a cause of modern ecological degradation in particular. Both White’s essay and various responses to it are critiqued for proposing the substitution of a traditional Christian perspective on God, humanity, and the natural world. Instead, this article insists that environmental ethics needs a robust and traditional Christian theology to undergird it.

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