Keywords: anthropocentrism, Christianity, inherent value, Lynn White, Jr, sustainable development, water
Sustainable waters and a new grammar of earthly compassion: an impressionistic report on The Columbia River Watershed: realities and possibilities
Since the publication of Lynn White's seminal article in 1967, the Christian religious tradition in the West has been labelled strongly anthropocentric in relation to the world of nature. The recent dissemination of the Catholic bishop's reflection on the Columbia River watershed in preparation for a pastoral letter can be read as an official response to this genre of criticism. By adopting a position that attributes inherent value to nature, church teaching is brought into line with environmental thought that favours sustainable use, is reminiscent of earlier American theological/philosophical views and provides a convincing public response to White's criticism.