A Sense of the Divine: The Natural Environment from a Theocentric Perspective
Pilgrim Press, The/United Church Press
, 1994 - Religion
- 176 pages
God is the source of humanity's good but does not guarantee it - a position that makes James M. Gustafson controversial as well as one of the best-known names in the field of ethics. His "theocentric perspective" requires that humanity place God, and not ourselves, at the center of our moral world.
Born of the 1992 Moll Lectures at Baldwin-Wallace College, this expanded rumination analyzes humanity's relationship to the environment from the perspective of theological ethics. Gustafson draws on theology, philosophy, and the hard sciences to claim that theocentric ethics, while never giving us easy answers, can nevertheless lead us to a new and deeper sensitivity toward a planet that is, he claims, in "disequilibrium."
God may have other plans than just our welfare, and this position leads us to consider that humanity should be putting its efforts into living within nature rather than trying to control it. And a part of that living within nature is learning how to respect and appreciate it - perhaps even bringing to that respect and admiration a sense of awe and wonder. The book also contains a foreword by Frederick Blumer and appendixes, the latter containing two responses to Gustafson's work.
Clear and reasonable and deeply felt, A Sense of the Divine has the power to engage the heart as well as the mind. It invites the reader into a new oneness with all things, a oneness with which our destiny is inextricably woven.