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Environmental Justice and Eschatology in Revelation

Jonathan C. Augustine, Southern University Law Center

Abstract

The concept of environmental justice is not new. While some scholars and activists trace its origins as part of the ongoing American Civil Rights Movement—a movement which emerged within the interdisciplinary connection of law and religion—this Essay argues that the concept of environmental justice has deep origins in the Holy Bible. With a foundation in the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures, this Essay combines the disciplines of law and religion by arguing that the Book of Revelation should be read ecologically, as a clarion call to protect the environment in anticipation of the time the triune God will return to live on the planet earth, which will exist as a new heaven.

To support the thesis that the Book of Revelation calls members of Judeo-Christian faith traditions to be protective stewards of planet earth, this Essay is organized into five interconnected parts, undergirded by religious views on the environment and the concept of environmental justice. Part I is an introductory overview, which lays a foundation for the matters related to law, religion, and ecological eschatology detailed herein. Part II builds upon Part I by transitioning into a substantive analysis of environmental justice, as detailed by John in Revelation. Part III then moves in chronology from a time when Judeo-Christian morals influenced ecological eschatology, millennia before antiquity, by exploring the same influences on environmental justice in the post-modern era. Part IV outlines policy considerations related to the continuing environmental justice movement from a Judeo-Christian thought perspective. Finally, Part V of this Essay is a synthesis and conclusion, where the author attempts to harmonize the themes and theories detailed herein, all at the proverbial intersection of law and religion.

Suggested Citation

Jonathan C. Augustine. "Environmental Justice and Eschatology in Revelation" Loyola Law Review 58.2 (2012): 325-340.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jonathan_c_augustine/7