An Inconvenient Faith? Conservative Christianity, Climate Change, and the End of the World

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Material Information

Title:
An Inconvenient Faith? Conservative Christianity, Climate Change, and the End of the World
Physical Description:
1 online resource (343 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Veldman, Robin Globus
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Religion
Committee Chair:
TAYLOR,BRON R
Committee Co-Chair:
HACKETT,DAVID GRAY
Committee Members:
WOOD,CHARLES H
WALD,KENNETH D
SCHWARTZ,KATRINA Z

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
apocalypticism -- care -- change -- climate -- creation -- end -- environmentalism -- evangelical -- global -- greening -- rapture -- times -- warming
Religion -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
Religion thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
Despite the efforts of evangelical leaders in the early-to-mid 2000s to generate enthusiasm for tackling the issue of climate change, a robust evangelical climate movement has not emerged. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to understand why, despite decades of collaboration between conservative Christians and environmentalists, activists have made so little progress. Using focus groups, semi-structured interviews and participant observation conducted in southeastern Georgia, I examined five factors that might discourage conservative Christians' from becoming concerned about the environment and climate change: (1) end time beliefs (2) political orientation (3) attitudes toward science (4) other this-worldly priorities and (5) attitudes toward environmentalism and/or environmentalists. I found that end time beliefs played a direct role only among a small subset of the conservative Christians I encountered, a group I call "hot millennialists." For the rest of my informants, end time belief played an indirect role, encouraging them to reject the idea that human activities were causing the climate to change on the grounds that God, not humans, was in control of the earth's fate. For many of these "cool millennialists," addressing climate change was ultimately insignificant in light of more important religious goals. I also identified broader forces at work. First, the religious communities I visited tended to direct their members' attention away from the environment as a locus of moral concern. Second, many of my informants viewed environmentalists' attempts to place climate change on the national agenda as part of a broader campaign to "take God out of the equation." They thus viewed environmentalists as antagonists in the larger battle between Christians and secularizing forces and trends. A case study of Southern Baptists showed that the same dynamic shaped the denomination's interpretation of and response to a 2008 document known as "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change." I argue that this kind of engagement with environmentalism does not constitute the "greening of evangelicalism"--a phrase that connotes collaboration with the environmental movement--but the "evangelicalization of environmental concern," or molding environmentalism to fit conservative Christianity's moral vision and cultural goals.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Robin Globus Veldman.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2014.
Local:
Adviser: TAYLOR,BRON R.
Local:
Co-adviser: HACKETT,DAVID GRAY.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2016-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2014
System ID:
UFE0046592:00001