SC 337 - "Full of Your Creatures" Ecology and the Old Testament

Module Level

8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures: 12 hours Tutorials: 2 hours Moodle exercises: 2 hours Private study: 12 hours

Assessment

Continuous assessment 40% Final Assignment (2000-word Paper) 60%

Module Aims

In view of the current ecological crisis, this module explores some of the rich insights into creation and ecology in the Old Testament, in light of the Psalmist’s declaration: “O LORD, the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24) and Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment (Laudato Si’).

Indicative Syllabus:

The use of Scripture in Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment (Laudato Si’).

Insights for faith, society, and ecology in the two contrasting creation stories in Genesis 1-3, with special reference to the meaning of human “dominion” over nature (Gen 1:28).

The understanding of creation and care for the environment in selected prophetic and legal writings.

The wonder of creation and sense of purposefulness in the psalms and wisdom literature, especially the Book of Job.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss some diverse expressions of Israel’s faith in God as Creator.
  • Describe similarities and differences between Israel’s view of the natural world and other ancient Near Eastern views.
  • Indicate the role of biblical law, prophecy and wisdom in inculcating a care for the environment.
  • Suggest some contributions of Old Testament texts to contemporary questions of environmental concern.