Margaret Barker

Biblical scholar

Home Temple
Publications history Publications details Papers Teaching Email
Margaret Barker
Creation: The Biblical Vision for the Environment
With a foreword by Patriarch Bartholomew
Older Testament
The Lost Prophet
Gate of Heaven
The Great Angel
On Earth
The Risen Lord
Great High Priest
Temple Theology
Hidden Tradition
Temple Themes
Temple Mysticism
Mother of the Lord
King of the Jews

Margaret Barker contributes a characteristically Christian voice to contemporary theological debates on the environment. Most of the issues we face today were not those that faced the early Christian community and so there are often no directly relevant biblical teachings. Barkerís starting point is the question of what Jesus himself would have believed about the Creation. What could the early Church have believed about the Creation? She then shows how much of this belief is embedded, often unrecognised, in the New Testament and early Christian texts. It was what people assumed as the norm, the worldview within which they lived and expressed their faith. 

Barker deals with such arguments as, ĎBut the New Testament says nothing about thisí, and establishes the general principles of a Christian view of Creation. Starting with how the Bible was understood by early Christians, Barker looks briefly at the history of a text or symbol, before examining what later Christian teachers did with that text or symbol. The idea that Adam was the steward of the creation, for example, is entirely unbiblical, and was imported into the text with disastrous results. Some of what she says will show how current teaching would have been unfamiliar to the first Christians, not just in application but in basic principles.
  "One of our most important tasks at present is to bring the Bible into conversation with pressing environmental challenges. Margaret Barker has done just that with scholarly breadth and compassionate insight. This is an invaluable and much needed contribution."

Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

"Invoking science and religion where economic theory fails is a powerful way of convincing us all that there are limits to the carrying capacity of our planet.

Margaret Barkerís book provides a wonderful and thought provoking analysis of how the environmental concerns we have and the lessons we learned from dealing with them were already known and worded in religious writings of the past. We should thank her for the elegant and convincing way she is both reminding and teaching us how history supports the plight of those who care for mother earth!"

Frits Schlingemann, UNEP, Regional Office for Europe

Published in December 2009. ISBN pbk: 9780567015471

ISBN hbk: 9780567441034








(c) Margaret Barker 2006.