Christian views on the environment have manifest in many ways since Gutenberg's advent of the printing press, which allowed laypeople to perform personal exegesis. As more insights on the scriptures developed, so did our understanding of humankind's relationship to God's creation.
Theologically based environmentalism has historically been 'summarized in two words: dominion and stewardship,' according to Desert News. The choice in whether to use 'dominion' or 'stewardship' when preaching on the environment is currently experiencing another shift as studies show a more positive response to the term 'stewardship', with 57% of American's maintaining this as the bedrock of their creation care attitudes.
In the beginning, religious leaders put little energy into biblical teachings about the environment. It was enough to know that God created an earth rich in resources and formed humans in his image to enjoy it.
However, the printing press that put English translations of the Bible in everyday people's hands brought with it an emphasis on interpretation, giving the words used to describe the relationship between human creatures and creation new significance.