Jamaica Consultation Presentation: Masters, Managers or Midwives? Are We Really Responsible for the Environment?

This is an INTEREST GROUP PRESENTATION ABSTRACT; the paper will be presented at the Jamaica Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel in October, 2012.  Comments are welcomed!  View all abstracts.


This ’why-to’ presentation offers a theological frame for understanding the world as creation and what is means for us to ‘play our part’ as creatures called to serve and care for creation as part of it.

One of the keywords that is often invoked in environmental rhetoric is the concept of responsibility, a concept that implies we can and should take action to care for creation. And yet, the wisdom of the biblical narrative (especially Gen 1-3) calls us to embrace our limits–that is, the thresholds and what we cannot and should not do. In light of this biblical notion of limits, we seek to understand responsibility in of terms of midwifery (i.e., a ‘serving presence’ (Phil. 2:5-11; Romans 8:19ff) as a more fitting concept that mastery (i.e., technical control) or management (i.e., mere allocation of scarce resources).