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Earth-honoring FaithReligious Ethics in a New Key$
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Larry L. Rasmussen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917006.001.0001

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The Ethic We Need: Tilling and Keeping

The Ethic We Need: Tilling and Keeping

(p.191) 7 The Ethic We Need: Tilling and Keeping
Earth-honoring Faith

Larry L. Rasmussen

Oxford University Press

“Planetary health is primary; human well-being is derivative.” (T. Berry) This chapter demonstrates religious ethics in a new key. It does so by centering planetary health and by showing how human identity and well-being are bound, with every cell of the body, to ecospheric health. To illustrate this in detail, the chapter uses one of the primal elements—earth as soil. Attention to soil and its life demonstrates how the foci of the previous chapters—change, theory, community—appear when morality and ethics emerge from reflections on a primal element. This in turn illustrates the method of religious ethics in a new key. Special note is given to method as the way anyone and everyone structures his or her ethic. Method is what we think with as we think about moral matters. How do we think in ways that are Earth-honoring?

Keywords:   The Fertile Crescent, soil and soul, human and humus, tilling, keeping, human vocation, the Environmental Justice movement, method in ethics

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