Questions for Discussion:
1. What is your view of Lynn White’s assertion that Christianity is the primary cause of the environmental crisis?
2. Does the relationship between religion and science differ from the relationship between religion and social sciences like economics or political science or anthropology or sociology? Can you find support for your opinion by reading a local or national newspaper, or from other media sources?
3. Is there an environmental issue in your local area or region that might be amenable to analysis using iterative-praxiological method? If so, who are the stakeholders that might need to be consulted in the social analysis phase?
4. Choose an example of a topic that has caused conflict between science and religion, research that topic in order to decide what it was about it that led to the conflict, and whether that conflict was inevitable given divergent perspectives being involved.
Active Learning Exercises:
1. Select a non-Christian religion, and research what has been written about the relationship between religion and science in that context. Make sure that you find at least three independent sources for your writing, and produce a two-page paper citing materials appropriately. Relate what your research uncovers to the categories of religion-science interaction developed in Chapter 2.
2. Choose one of the following environmental issues and research it in your library and online using reputable sources. Include in your research the scientific, economic, theological and ethical aspects of the issue. Write a two-page paper on how the relationship between science and theology has played out to date in terms of this issue. Topics to choose among are: mountaintop removal coal mining; natural gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing; the development of genetically modified livestock; organic farming; free trade coffee production.
Haught, John F. Science and Religion, From Conflict to Conversation. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995.
Haught, John F. God after Darwin, A Theology of Evolution. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000.
Lichatowich, Jim. Salmon without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon Crisis. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1999.
Merchant, Carolyn. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980.
Muir, John. A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1991.
The Columbia River Pastoral Letter Project. The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good, An International Pastoral Letter by the Catholic Bishops of the Region. Seattle, WA: Columbia River Pastoral Letter Project, 2001.
Wilkins, Thurman. John Muir, Apostle of Nature. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Wilson, E.O. The Creation, An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 2006.