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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Amending the Christian Story: The Natural Sciences as a Window into Grounded Faith and Sustainable Living, by Ron Rude

What is the book about?
Dramatic learnings from Nature’s natural sciences have sparked a fundamental rethinking of Christianity’s basic message/story/claim—both its ancient and vast story of the universe and the more recent stories of Israel and Jesus. This book explores the hard and soft intersections between science and theology and raises important questions about implications.

What is anthropocentricism?
“Anthropocentrism” is an ideology that positions humans at the head of the class, the front of the line, the top of the toppest. It employs a destructive worldview/narrative of I-centeredness (as individuals, as nations, as a species), rendering the needs and desires of humans as supreme. Sometimes called “human exceptionalism” or even “diva theology”, anthropocentrism positions humans as separate from, superior to, the reason for and the rulers of the multi-layered ecosystems and species diversities of Earth’s thin biosphere (seven miles up and seven miles down).

What are the implications?
Relationships suffer—with neighbor, Nature, self and with God. Dominion-ist worldviews produce conditions of marginalization and oppression: men over women (patriarchy); Whites over Blacks (racism); heterosexuals over LGBTQI couples, individuals and their families; citizens over immigrants; and especially, humans over Nature. Dominion-ist attitudes and behaviors reside in individuals and in systems/structures.

How might an amended and mended Christian story help heal these broken relationships?
The book carves out a non-anthropocentric version of God’s story of life, and within this vast and ancient context, of God’s story of Israel and Jesus. Using Genesis 4 as a background template, I call this version “Abel Christianity”, offering an alternative to the dominant and anthropocentric “Cain Christianity” of our time, which, among other shortfalls, is ecologically irresponsible.

Who is the book for?
The Christian community, the Natural Sciences community and those looking for a way through the current (and foreseen) ecological crisis.

Ron Rude, after 17 years as Lutheran campus pastor (ELCA) at the University of Arizona, recently retired to teaching and writing. His previous books include Abel Emerging (2010) and (Re)Considering Christianity (2012).

For speaking engagements or more information, contact [email protected]. Amending the Christian Story can be purchased through WipfAndStock.com or Amazon.com.

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