For Christians and Jews, the Book of Genesis remains a salient portrayal of creation, in turn, providing a rubric for humankind's interaction with the natural world. Citing Genesis 1:28, some Abrahamic traditions find a designation of the role we are to play in God's creation, but the following four books detail HOW we should navigate that process. According to a new book, Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action and Climate Change, authored by Stephen Jurovics, books such as Deuteronomy expand our understanding of creation and offer detailed guidance on how to better implement God's call to steward His creation.
While it could be argued that Creation Care is expanded beyond the Hebrew Bible with cases in the Synoptic Gospels, Jurovics insists that our current examination of creation care is too limited and that issues of climate change are best understood and approached with more than Genesis in mind. It should be clear, that Jurovics is not discrediting the Book of Genesis, rather he is hoping to strengthen it by illuminating an expansive discussion, supported throughout the proceeding books.
Read the full review of this thought-provoking text here.
Richard Stradling | The Charlotte Observer
If you seek guidance from the Bible on how to live in relationship with the Earth and its environment, Stephen Jurovics says you probably start with Genesis 1:28:
“God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ ”
But in his slim book “Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action and Climate Change,” Jurovics says to really know what God wants for the Earth you need to look at the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy. There, he says, you’ll find verses that establish various limits and caveats on human dominion that show God wants people to be good stewards of the Earth, not simply its masters.
Jurovics, who lives in Raleigh, is Jewish, but addresses his message to Christians and Jews who share a belief in the Old Testament.
“The Bible that Christians and Jews hold sacred places numerous limitations upon our behavior toward the natural world, meaning that we have been treating the environment in ways that damage our personal relationship to the divine,” he writes. “Christians and Jews who care about that relationship may seek to change personal behavior and find motivation to influence national policies.”
Jurovics has a Ph.D. in engineering and has worked for IBM and in the aerospace and military industries. But he has a personal interest in the environment and says he studied the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, to see what it said about caring for the environment. He says he was motivated in part because he wanted to influence the country’s dominant faith community, Christians, to become advocates for preserving “our still hospitable environment.”