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Outline the teachings of Christianity and Islam about the creation of the world. What beliefs about the treatment of the environment can be drawn from these?

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Introduction

Outline the teachings of Christianity and Islam about the creation of the world. What beliefs about the treatment of the environment can be drawn from these? Both Christianity and Islam have creation stories in their holy books. The stories of how the world was created are similar in these two religions. In Christianity, the book of Genesis in the Bible tells of stories of the creation. In this part of the Bible it is said how God created the world in six days, from nothing, and rested on the seventh. This belief, which Christians hold, is very similar to that of Muslims. The holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, contains an account of creation saying how Allah created the heavens and the earth in six days and then settled Himself on the Throne. The Bible says how after creating the earth, the sky, the seas and plants, God made birds and fish on the fifth day, and animals and humans on the sixth day. Christians believe that the stories in the Bible explain why God created the world, and how that relates to the way they should treat the world. Most Christians do not take the story of creation in the Bible literally, and accept the other theories for creation. ...read more.

Middle

The creation story also teaches Christians 'worship'. This means that as the world is God's work, it should therefore be celebrated and enjoyed as well as protected. 'Harvest Festivals' are held by Christians, which show thanks for the Earth's resources and celebrate the environment. The creation story also teaches Christians interdependence. The concept of interdependence teaches Christians that all parts of God's creation are linked and interdependent. Therefore damage to a part of it, is damaging to us also. Recent teachings in Roman Catholicism say that there is responsibility to consider the welfare of future generations in our consumption of the Earth's resources, and the preservation of life. In the denominations of Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist there are other teachings, which are followed. The teaching that everything in creation is equal, everything is ultimately God's and that it is a Christian's responsibility to protect the Earth for God, are followed by Christian groups. The Assisi declarations of 1986 said that 'Christians repudiate all ill-considered exploitation of nature which threatens to destroy it and, in turn, to make man the victim of degradation.' The Christian statement was basically making the point that damaging nature, will result in the shame of people. There are specific references to the care of the environment in the Bible, such as in Deuteronomy 20:19 that asks trees are not cut down, and its fruits not wasted. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Muslim statement from the Assisi declarations, in 1986, concentrated on the importance of preserving the 'oneness' of Allah's creation. It was said that this would not be able to happen by 'letting one end predominate over another; it is maintained by balance and harmony'. As the main point of the statement it concluded that 'oneness, trusteeship and accountability, that is tawhid, khalifah and akhirah, are the 'three central concepts of Islam', and 'also the pillars of the environmental ethics of Islam'. There are also three other 'instructions' that Muslims should generally follow which ask that careful use must be made of scarce resources, that hunting is only allowed for food and a tree should be planted to replace one that is cut down. Surah 30:30 of the Qur'an could also be linked to the use of genetic engineering, which says that there should be no altering of the creation of Allah'. This would imply that the use of genetic engineering is immoral in Islam. Muslims and Christians share the basic belief that they have been given dominion over nature, by God, and should therefore use this power and control to protect his creation. Muslims also share concerns, with other religions, for the environment today in ensuring that the world is looked after for future generations and its resources used wisely. ...read more.

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