"O LORD, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures."

- Psalm 104:24 (NLT)

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you."

- Job 12:7,8 (NIV)

"Science and religion are two of the most potent forces on Earth and they should come together to save the creation."

- E. O. Wilson
Harvard University

Undergraduate Program in Environmental Sciences

 

 

Why a Symposium?


Hands Holding the EarthIn the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. When finished, God saw all that He had made, and declared that "it was very good." He then tasked humans–the crown jewel of His creation–to care for all that He had made.

Today, burdened by human population growth, unbridled greed, and unlimited consumption, the creation groans. By polluting our ecosystems and rapidly depleting our natural resources, we are threatening the future of our very existence.

Fifty-one years ago, a marine biologist named Rachel Carson published the book Silent Spring. She focused on the harmful effects of the widespread use of chemical pesticides on the planet and its living organisms, particularly birds. Her tome inspired widespread discussion which ultimately launched the modern environmental movement.

A few years later, in 1967, the journal Science published the text of a conference lecture by medieval historian Lynn White, Jr., titled “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis.” Noting the Bible's distinction between humans and animals, White stated that “Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.”

White's ideas ignited widespread debate about the contribution of religion to the accelerating ecological crisis. Recent studies suggest that Christians and those of other faith groups show measurably less concern about the environment than the public at large. Indeed, some Christians suppose that since this world will be destroyed and recreated at the Second Coming of Jesus, they should not be overly concerned about what happens now to our earthly home and its creatures. These issues prompted renown Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson to publish in 2007 his book, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. Couched in the form of a series of letters to a fictitious Baptist minister, Wilson pleaded for Christians to join the largely secular effort to save what remains of the creation. In his words, "Science and religion are two of the most potent forces on Earth and they should come together to save the creation."

Entrusted: Christians and Environmental Care will appeal to theologians, teachers, researchers, students, thoughtful Christians, and concerned citizens who wish to explore and better understand the very complex issues of environmental care. All of the speakers share the conviction that Christianity, properly understood, includes a mandate to care for the ecosphere, and that this responsibility involves finding a balance between preservation and consumption that requires setting priorities. God has entrusted us with much.

About the Symposium

Sessions
Biblical perspectives, environmental ethics, human health and the environment, biodiversity and conservation, environmental education.

Keynote speakers
See Special Events

Special programs
Live animal exhibits will be present at the venue on April 26. Worship and Sabbath School programs are planned for April 27. A special evening Vespers program on April 27, hosted by the LLU Department of Earth and Biological Sciences at the University Church and broadcast globally on LLBN, will feature live exotic animals within the theme, Wild Minds: Animals that Think.

Speakers
To include a variety of theologians, ethicists, and scientists who examine diverse topics and undertake varying approaches to environmental care. A list of speakers and topics is posted at this site.

Entrusted volume
Print copies of the special volume Entrusted: Christians and Environmental Care, edited by Stephen Dunbar, James Gibson, and Humberto Rasi, should be available by the symposium date. The book comprises a collection of 23 original essays by assorted Christian authors.

Tentative Speaker List

You can e-mail whayes@llu.edu if you wish to be added to the tentative speaker list. Please provide your name, institution, and title or topic. We will update the list on this website on a regular basis. Please understand that space will be limited, especially for oral presentations, and that prioritization of who will speak (or present a poster) will depend on a number of factors including submission of a suitable abstract.

Mailing List

You can e-mail whayes@llu.edu if you wish to be added to the symposium mailing list. However, to remain current on announcements, we suggest that you visit this website regularly.