Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 3, No 2 (2009)

Biblical Authority to Advocate for Biodiversity: A Response to James A. Nash

Carol S. Robb
Issued Date: 22 Jul 2009


With James Nash, I share the moral commitment to address the decline in biodiversity, the liberal Protestant commitment to comprehensive coherence in ethical method, a recognition of the culture-bounded quality of the Bible and its moral pluralism, and positively to lodge the Bible's authority in the relationship with it as a dialogue partner. The ways in which the Bible is authoritative are numerous, elusive, and diffuse, making Nash's position critiquing every appeal to scriptural authority as a justification in moral argument unwise, unworkable, and contradictory to the intrinsic qualities of religious texts and traditions. In this light, the cultivation of active readers who ask of the texts critical questions before or instead of assenting to the visions put forward in the texts is perhaps a responsibility of lay people, theologians and pastors for more accountable and effective participation in the public square. Nash's own article models such critical dialogue with biblical texts.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v3i2.238


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