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Denison Journal of Religion

Abstract

Bartholomew applies liberation theology to the destruction of nature occurring under the current free market system. Bartholomew argues for a greater respect for nature by emphasizing the immanence of God. Bartholomew relies on the tradition of God's immanence which stresses the existence of God within and around humanity. God living closely among people implies that God must also live closely with the environment provided for humanity. This establishes a relationship between God and nature. Having a healthy relationship with nature is, therefore, reflective of a healthy relationship with God. An inherent part of treating the environment with care is conscientiousness about consumption. This, Bartholomew makes clear, also makes it easier to provide for the rest of humanity. Humanity's relationship with nature mirrors its relationship God. The interconnectedness of these relationships cannot be escaped, and humanity is challenged by God to be respectful of each aspect. The author argues that this can be enacted in society by creating a new attitude towards the free market"one which shows humanity in control of that market, instead of that market being an idol. This would not only allow people to treat the environment with more care, but it would make economic changes like tax reform more palatable.

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