Finding the Right Kind of Awe and Wonder: The Metaphysical Potential of Religion to Ground an Environmental Ethic

Martin Ashley


This paper argues that an anthropocentric fallacy permeates thinking within both technological and ecological approaches to environmentalism. In consequence, sustainable development is an incoherent concept through the weakness of its anthropocentric ethical grounding. Using the Judaeo-Christian tradition as an example, this paper examines the degree to which religion can be an alternative means of grounding an environmental ethic outside anthropocentrism. It concludes that, though religion can also be corrupted by anthropocentrism, insights gained through theology ought not to be wholly dismissed.

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