Abstract

Judaism is the religious civilization of the Jewish people whose foundational document is the Bible. Throughout Jewish history, attitudes toward the natural world reflected both changing historical conditions of the Jews and foundation beliefs of the Jewish religious worldview, namely, that God, Yahweh, is the sole creator of the universe; that God created humans in his own image; that God revealed his will to Israel in the form of law, the Torah; and that God will redeem Israel and the world from the imperfection of the present. Precisely because nature is created, Judaism does not take nature to be inherently sacred or worthy of veneration. Instead, nature is viewed as imperfect, requiring human management and care: only human actions in accord with divine commands sanctify nature, making it holy. This article discusses Judaism and ecology, conceptions of nature in Jewish sources, environmental ethics in Jewish legal sources, modern Jewish reflections on nature, and Jewish environmentalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199892136, 9780195178722
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2009

Fingerprint

Nature
Judaism
Deity
Israel
Religion
World View
Jews
Environmental Ethics
Jewish History
Torah
Human Action
Bible
Universe
Ecology
Divine Command
Holy
Natural World
Veneration
Civilization
Yahweh

Keywords

  • Bible
  • Ecology
  • Environmental ethics
  • Environmentalism
  • Israel
  • Judaism
  • Nature
  • Yahweh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Samuelson, H. (2009). Judaism. In The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195178722.003.0002

Judaism. / Samuelson, Hava.

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Samuelson, H 2009, Judaism. in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195178722.003.0002
Samuelson H. Judaism. In The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. Oxford University Press. 2009 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195178722.003.0002
Samuelson, Hava. / Judaism. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. Oxford University Press, 2009.
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