Chapter 6: From Stewardship to Earthkeeping: Why We Should Move Beyond Stewardship by Steven Bouma-Prediger

Panorama of the Adirondack High Peaks from Mt. Marcy (Photo courtesy of Steven Bouma-Prediger)

An illustrated companion to Chapter 6 of Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care. To view main webpage, click here:

Mitch had the opportunity to take a May term course in upstate New York. He and ten other students enrolled in “Ecological Theology and Ethics,”an upper-level Religion course that I teach each year.The course includes a nine-day wilderness expedition in the Adirondack Mountains.
Steven Bouma-Prediger and his May Term Students (Photos courtesy of Steven Bouma-Prediger)
Students learn wilderness skills, enhance their leadership ability, and put into practice ideas about ecology, ethics, and theology discussed in the traditional classroom setting.
Camp Fowler (top, bottom left) and view from Mt. Pillsbury (bottom right) (Photos courtesy of Steven Bouma-Prediger)

To learn more about the Northville-Lake Placid Trail, click the following links:

While the term stewardship has been a fruitful way of thinking about our responsibility as Christians to care for our home planet and a positive move beyond earlier notions (and misunderstandings) of dominion, the limitations of the term have grown such that at least in some circumstances it should be replaced by something better.
Bouma-Prediger's 5 critiques of the term stewardship. (Image courtesy of Janice Wharton)
The proper exercise of dominion yields shalom: the flourishing of all creation. This is a far cry from dominion as domination. ... Yes, we are called to exercise dominion, but we are also called to service. ... We are to serve and protect the garden that is creation, for its own good as well as for our benefit. Taking seriously both callings implies that dominion must be defined in terms of service.
(Image courtesy of Janice Wharton)
According to Scripture, we are earthkeepers called to serve and protect the world that God made, loves, and sustains.

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