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The New Evangelical Social Engagement$
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Brian Steensland and Philip Goff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199329533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199329533.001.0001

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Green Evangelicals

Green Evangelicals

Chapter:
(p.157) 7 Green Evangelicals
Source:
The New Evangelical Social Engagement
Author(s):

Laurel Kearns

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199329533.003.0007

The greening of evangelicalism has a greater complexity and a longer history than most media accounts and scholarly references indicate. Indeed, the greening of evangelicalism spans the spectrum of evangelical ideology from right to left. This paper portrays this longer history and greater complexity, primarily through the work of two social movement organizations—the Evangelical Environmental Network and the Cornwall Alliance—that highlight the differences within evangelical approaches to environmental concerns. In order to distinguish these differences, I term these two approaches, respectively, creation care evangelicals and wise-use stewards, a modification on my earlier work on evangelical Christian stewardship. This paper primarily focuses on their ideological differences, as manifest in their responses to climate change, and the way framing is used by wise-use stewards, who are climate skeptics or deniers, to undermine the work of the Evangelical Climate Initiative. It also explores in a more brief manner the tensions within the greening of evangelicalism in terms of a focus on individual ethics and actions, the more traditional evangelical approach, and policy work.

Keywords:   Evangelicals, Environment, Creation care, Climate change, Cornwall alliance, Politics, Wise-use, Framing, Economics

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