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Evangelical Environmentalism: Oxymoron or Opportunity?

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Often defined by affiliation with conservative politics and a limited range of moral issues concerning “family values,” evangelical Christianity in the United States might seem like an odd place to look for a substantial environmental ethic. However, over the past few years many evangelicals have been working very hard to change this public face of their community and are becoming increasingly active in environmental issues. In this essay, I provide an overview of this trend by articulating the major tenants of evangelical environmentalism, outlining the major events in its history, and suggesting four primary obstacles to continued participation in this area. I contend that evangelical environmentalism is not an oxymoronic conception, but instead represents an opportunity for substantial progress as the engagement between religion and ecology becomes increasingly important to contemporary scholarly debates and public policy.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Hendrix College;, Email: simmons@hendrix.edu

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