Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Ecotheology 11.3 September 2006

Environmental Justice and the Economy: A Christian Theologian's View

Celia Deane-Drummond
Issued Date: 24 Feb 2007


This article presents the case for a Christian understanding of justice as one
that is inclusive of environmental issues. I concentrate, in particular, on
economic market practices that serve to exacerbate environmental harms.
Justice has commonly been considered in the first place as a value principle
that is more often than not confined to the human community. I argue in
the second place for the relevance of a Christian understanding of the
virtues, incorporating the classic tradition of justice understood as a virtue
alongside prudence and temperance. The first, principled approach, opens
up the possibility of a critical discussion of Rawls’ theory of justice in relation
to the concerns of environmental justice movements and the need for
further broadening out into ecological justice. The second, virtue approach,
opens up the need to take into account Christian concern for the poor and
mediating economic strategies that demonstrate how the cardinal virtues
of prudence, justice and temperance can, together, be expressed in practical
terms prior to more radical and more idealistic revisions in the global

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DOI: 10.1558/ecot.2006.11.3.294


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