Christian legacy?


In 1967, Lynn White argued that Christianity's Western form was responsible for current ecological woes. His claim was that the language of 'dominion' set the stage for nature to be the servant of humans. The desacrilization of nature – seeing nature as God's creation rather than divine in itself, took place in Judaism and Christianity and supported the development of science and technologies to understand the workings of such a creation (White, 1967). While White's argument has been widely supported, others argue that other cultural factors such as the prevalence of consumerist discourses are much more significant than Judeo-Christian beliefs.


Nonetheless, while many forms of Christianity (e.g. the United Church in some locations) are highly supportive of environmental initiatives, many are still highly anthropocentric and allow little space for many of the methods and assumptions about spirit that pervade this research text. How does one find room for an animist ontology in a culture that is undergirded by Christian beliefs?