The Greening of Christianity?

Global warming is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. According to many scholars, the roots of this crisis are religious and can be tracked to late-medieval Christian world views about man’s dominion over nature. These infused Western civilization with a mandate to exploit natural resources. Today, especially conservative Protestant Christians show less concern about the environment than most people. However, countries with Protestant roots have the best track record in implementing environmental policy. This paradox calls for an analysis of the historical development, transformation, and implementation of Christian notions on ecology. This explains and potentially impacts current attitudes and measures towards the environment.

This project offers such an analysis via the lens of Protestant missionary societies. They emerged in the age of Western expansion and were instrumental in the conception and dissemination of Western views of global ecology and the implementation of colonial environmental policies. This project explores the relation between missionary societies and RNGO’s with climate change.