Environmental History Outlines of an Early Christian Idea of Wilderness Term Paper

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Christian Idea of Wilderness

The early Christian idea of the wilderness concept is the result of many millennia of human evolution in terms of mode of living and thinking. Human beings evolved firstly as part of nature; using natural forces for their survival. When human beings became aware that nature might be manipulated for the perpetuation of human life, they became agents of ecological change. The agricultural mode of living culminated in a similar type of religion, with fertility and nature at its center. This was replaced as Yahweh, the god of Judaism gradually replaced the importance of the natural with the supernatural.

God created the world and all things in it"

This belief is the result of the evolution of the god concept from natural to supernatural, and the concomitant idea that God provides the world for humanity to civilize. This idea is very prominent in the Pentateuch, where God chooses a special group of human beings and leads them to a land prepared especially for them. The belief that God created everything is also indicative of the central image of the supernatural in the Christian world view, as opposed to the original centrality of nature as the giver of life.

Nature is a fallen and profane world, and Heaven is home"

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This belief is the culmination of the separation between humanity and nature. Human beings, being superior to nature, finds their true home only in the hereafter. This also shows the evolution of philosophy as it relates to the human concept of time. In contrast to earlier population groups, early Christians began the belief that time is linear rather than circular, ending in a final goal; the second coming of Christ.

God is transcendent and above the fallen world; He alone is divine and sacred"

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This belief signifies a hierarchy: human beings are above nature, while God, as a spirit, is above… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Environmental History Outlines of an Early Christian Idea of Wilderness."  Essaytown.com.  July 18, 2006.  Accessed December 8, 2021.