Religious and Secular Concern for the Environment

JRI is pleased to announce the publication of Briefing Paper number 39, ‘Religious and Secular Concern for the Environment’ by Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy. This paper considers whether Christian concerns for the environment differ from secular ones. It looks at the ethical role of religion, and the particular emphases of Christianity through history evaluating where these have been helpful and where it may be considered that harm has occurred. The similarities and differences with secular environmentalism are explored.

The Briefing Paper also includes a Bibliography for further reading under the following headings: New Testament Scholars on the teaching of Jesus; On the distinctive modern concept of religion; Anthropology on the divine; The divine in Mesopotamia; The divine in the Hebrew scriptures; Developments within Christianity; Modern attitudes to the environment; Evolutionary theories of ethics; Meaning and value.

The Briefing Paper may be downloaded from this link (PDF, 8 pages), and from the Briefings Page.

Revd. Jonathan Clatworthy is an Anglican priest who has also written a number of books, including Why Progressives Need God: An ethical defence of monotheism (Christian Alternative, 2017), and Making Sense of Faith in God: How belief makes science possible (SPCK, 2012). He blogs at and is a trustee of Modern Church ( He has also been a university chaplain and tutor in Philosophy and Ethics.